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Spy mirrors club faces sanctions

A NIGHTCLUB which created global controversy after secretly fitting a two-way mirror to allow male guests to spy on the women's toilets faces the prospect of being shut within the week.

Police Scotland and licensing standards officers have submitted complaints and called for a review of the Shimmy Club's licence, with a hearing set for next Friday.

Leisure chain G1 Group, the owner, faces a range of sanctions with sources close to the case insisting closure of the Glasgow venue is a strong possibility.

The controversial feature at the club in the city's Royal Exchange Square has been discussed on news websites in Australia, New Zealand, the US and Asia. It has also attracted criticism from the leader of the city council, Gordon Matheson, and Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran.

The Shimmy nightclub is accused of installing the spy mirror between the toilets and a function room allegedly rented to private parties for £800.

Photographs posted on social media show male clubbers pointing through the windows at women as they wash their hands.

A spokesman for Glasgow's licensing board said: "We can confirm we have received applications for a licence review from both Police Scotland and licensing standards officers."

Licensing laws allow for accelerated reviews of licences if the police or other agencies have concerns, but the speed with which the Shimmy Club has come to the licensing board has surprised many in the trade. Doubts have also been cast on whether any appeal to the courts would be successful.

One industry source said: "The range of punishments is pretty wide, from limiting hours to a suspension or a straight closure."

When it emerged the Shimmy Club, owned by the Scots entertainment mogul Stefan King, had installed the mirrors concerns were dismissed with the claim they were "a bit of fun". The nightclub is alleged to have marketed the function room as part of a "smoke and mirrors" promotion.

Mr Matheson has said he wants the licensing board to "take the strongest possible action".

Ms Curran said: "When this was first uncovered, people across Scotland were rightly appalled. I wrote to Police Scotland, the leader of Glasgow City Council and the Licensing Board asking them to investigate. It's completely unacceptable to think that women on a night out could be spied on for entertainment."

G1 did not respond to Herald inquiries last night.

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Arts and Entertainment

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