Policing saunas

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I write in reference to your editorial (24 October).

The sex industry and prostitution is recognised as a particularly challenging and complex area for the police, partners and society as a whole.

However, our approach is very simple. Policing exists to keep people safe, enforce the law and to prevent criminality.

We are not the regulatory body which can make the ultimate decision on whether a venue licence is approved or not. That is a matter for the relevant local authority.

We are, however, in a 
position to make recommendations, based on the facts and other information available to us, to allow those responsible 
for making those decisions to 
do so from a position of full knowledge.

Police Scotland came into effect this year recognising that national policing priorities would reflect local needs and that effective local policing forms the heart of the organisation.

In keeping people safe, Police Scotland has a firm focus on many areas including the threat from serious organised crime, sexual crime, violence and human trafficking to highlight but a few.

There has been no change in policy in how we deal with saunas. Police Scotland will work with all 32 local authorities on policing plans which reflect local need, with local police commanders accountable locally for policing.

What we are focused on is ensuring where matters come to light around activity which falls foul of the law or licensing conditions, or where people are at risk and which require the appropriate policing response, that response is delivered.

(Sir) Stephen House

Chief Constable

Police Scotland