More ‘sex saunas’ face police scrutiny

Seven more licensed saunas have been examined by officers from Police Scotland. Picture: Julie Bull
Seven more licensed saunas have been examined by officers from Police Scotland. Picture: Julie Bull
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POLICE are to take action against the remaining sauna operators in Edinburgh after completing a sweep of premises which it is alleged are operated as brothels.

Seven more licensed saunas have been examined by officers from Police Scotland, with reports on the findings sent to the city’s regulatory committee.

Edinburgh City Council last week suspended the licences of the first six premises raided.

The city is unique in Scotland in that it has handed out public entertainment licences to saunas without asking for details of the nature of their operations since the 1980s.

Last month, 150 officers along with social workers and health and safety investigators carried out raids in an apparent crackdown against such facilities.

It came just two months after the phasing out of Lothian and Borders Police and the formation of a single police force in Scotland.

Critics including Margo MacDonald, the independent Lothian MSP, and the sex workers’ charity Scot-Pep have claimed there has been a shift towards “Glasgow-style” zero-tolerance policing – which police chiefs have denied.

A police source confirmed all premises have since been visited by officers and further reports will be sent to the regulatory committee.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “The recent visits were based on local intelligence-gathering over several months and a continued commitment to ensuring premises adhere to their licensing conditions and are not putting the public at risk.”