EDINBURGH saunas generated only nine crime reports in the five years before police chiefs sought to close many of them down, new figures revealed today.
In six of the cases officers found “no crime” had been committed, or there was insufficient evidence to proceed with a probe.
Just three crime reports were substantiated by police – a noise complaint each year in 2008 and 2009, and the theft of a bag in 2011.
Saunas bosses today said that the figures supported their claims that the businesses were “unfairly” targeted by police.
Police raids on the saunas in June resulted in 12 people being arrested in connection with brothel keeping and living off immoral earnings, while the force urged councillors to close six of them. In October, six establishments were ordered to close following police objections.
Peter Donoghue represents the Paradise, Dundas Street and New Gentle Touch saunas, which were each denied a licence by councillors. He said: “I’m not surprised at these figures. You get more police call-outs to an average Greggs the bakers.
“We never had to call the police out for anything and no customers ever did either. We never had any trouble in all those years. The only time the police were ever in was during the usual inspections. It just shows you that the police were acting unfairly and operating on their own agenda. It’s terrible what happened because it’s destroyed the industry. Customers are reluctant to go to saunas and many women are leaving to put themslves at risk in private flats.”