Police: Ban condoms from saunas

Police call for condoms not to be provided in saunas
Police call for condoms not to be provided in saunas
Ian Dunt By

Police in Edinburgh were heavily criticised today after they demanded saunas in the city be prevented from providing condoms.

The police letter comes after six other saunas in the city were shut down by police following raids, in a move which some believe could precipitate the end of the city's liberal sexual culture.

"This goes against all basic common sense. It also places Scotland really out of step with the rest of the world," Nadine Stott, a board member on sex workers' charity Scot-pep, said.

"The World Health Organisation (WHO) just last week released guidelines on sex workers and HIV that specifically stated where countries use condoms as evidence of sex work that should be stopped immediately.

"We are really shocked that, in private, the police have been quite clear to us. They said that the policy (on saunas) wasn't changing.

"We think this highlights how inappropriate the police are as a regulatory body of sex workers in a criminal context."

Saunas across the UK are frequently focal points for the gay community. Some see sex work being provided inside the establishment.

But police in Scotland told the city council that licences should only be granted to the five new saunas if no items of a sexual nature were allowed on the premises.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: "Police Scotland recently provided reports to the Council Regulatory Committee in respect of a number of public entertainment licence renewals.

"In cases where there was evidence of criminality or premises operating out-with the conditions of their licence, objections were made to those licences being renewed.

"Police Scotland will continue to work with partners to inspect and report on licensed premises operating within Edinburgh in order to keep people safe.

"Whenever criminal activity, or licensing contraventions are detected within these venues, officers will respond appropriately and report all offences to the relevant authority."


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