Sauna raids: Sex for sale in 300 Edinburgh flats

Police raids on city's saunas have forced sex workers into flats. Picture: TOBY WILLIAMS
Police raids on city's saunas have forced sex workers into flats. Picture: TOBY WILLIAMS
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PROSTITUTES are flocking to the Capital to work in private flats as the future of the city’s sex industry remains in doubt.

Nearly 300 women are currently selling sex from private flats in the city, according to one website.

Sauna industry sources claim the soaring number is a direct result of police raids on their establishments – as scared punters are spending their money buying sex from flats rather than be caught with their trousers down in a police raid.

Peter Donoghue, a former sauna boss who represents three saunas threatened with closure, said the number of women working from flats, with the dangers that entails, will soar if the sauna trade is not allowed to continue.

He said: “When the saunas were raided by the police, there were hundreds of extra adverts on [websites such as] adultworks. Some of them were from the sauna workers while those shops were closed, but many were coming here to take advantage of what was ­happening.”

With October 4 D-day for the six saunas appealing against the suspension of their licences, he added: “It’s very worrying because flats are more dangerous. Women working alone are vulnerable and you start getting pimps moving in to take control. It also gives you the threat of trafficked women.”

The explosion in the number of sex workers will in part have been fuelled by Festival season, with August typically seeing a mini boom in sex worker numbers.

And – given how we revealed just 20 prostitutes were offering sex for cash in August 2009 through another leading trade publication – it is clear to see there has been a huge spike in the number of behind closed doors prostitutes.

Scotpep, the campaign group supporting sex workers, estimates that 700 women are involved in the city’s industry, including women in saunas, private flats, and working as escorts.

Kalina, a 36-year-old Bulgarian, was among those posting on who had moved temporarily to the Capital. She told the Evening News that she was based at the bottom of Leith Walk and one hour, including full sex, would cost £120.

The sauna licence suspensions followed two waves of raids in June, which saw seven people charged in connection with brothel keeping and living off immoral earnings.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “If information is received in relation to ongoing offences taking place anywhere within the city, police will respond appropriately.”


A PORN star known as Emma Butt is among the women advertising their sexual services in Edinburgh.

The 27-year-old, who has more than 27,000 followers on Twitter, is currently “on tour” across the UK and is working from a flat in Haymarket until Thursday.

Ms Butt charges £300 an hour or £3000 for an “overnight”. Her entry specifies that she does not offer unprotected sex, but she is regularly tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

When contacted by the Evening News, Ms Butt said she would not be available for an appointment until 9pm last night as she was doing “a photo-shoot”.