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The internet has sparked a massive growth in women selling sex from private flats. thousands of others and get the latest Scottish crime and courts news sent straight to your inbox with our daily Criminal Record newsletter. Since the turn of the century, the web has sparked a massive growth in women selling sex from private flats. With the ability to advertise their services online through specialist sites, it became a boom time for prostitution in the capital.
Hundreds of sex workers — originating from dozens of countries around the world — would arrive to ply their trade. Although safer than street walking, the women usually work alone — a situation which still leaves them more vulnerable to attacks than in a sauna. And their isolation has made it easier for human traffickers, gangsters and pimps to take advantage of the vulnerable.
Clandestine brothels run from anonymous properties have been around for decades but relied on discreetly worded in the backs of newspapers, business cards or simply word of mouth. Inundercover cops were visiting such homes amid fears women, particularly those from abroad, could be held as sex slaves after being trafficked. By the following year, support agency Scotpep Scottish Prostitutes Education Programme estimated that about 18 city flats were being used for prostitution. A year earlier, its volunteer workers had checked on the well-being of women in just 12 addresses.
Around that time, such private flats ed for only a handful of the prostitutes thought to be active in Edinburgh. The offence of brothel-keeping was only being committed when two or more women, who may be together only for safety reasons, work from the same home.
Scotpep believed the then Lothian and Borders Police force knew about the majority of these flats, monitoring them from a distance. And officers were Girls sex Edinburgh to act over concerns about exploitation.
Intwo year-old Eastern Europeans were Girls sex Edinburgh to have been trafficked into the city by pimps. Two women in their 30s, one Chinese and the other Thai, were found inside. In this case they were found to be illegal immigrants and faced deportation. However, police swoops on four Edinburgh flats in saw seven women, aged 20 to 35, rescued as suspected trafficking victims under Operation Pentameter. Six were from south-east Asia, although five later disappeared from a safe house amid fears some might have returned to their captors.
Asian women were becoming increasingly prevalent among the sex workers operating from private properties. It was, perhaps, the start of another new trend where working girls rented out stylish flats in upmarket areas, often in the city centre, rather than spots in Leith, Tollcross or Dalry. The of private flats selling sex was accelerating and, byit was estimated some were being used. The range of nationalities among the women was also increasing, with many countries around Europe, South America, Africa and Asia all well-represented. Perhaps partly due to the pressures of the marketplace and increased competition, many say they cater to sadomasochism and various outlandish fetishes.
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Sex and the Capital City: how the internet changed Edinburgh's sex industry