Police in Edinburgh have called for a ban of ‘all items of a sexual nature’, including condoms in all saunas in Edinburgh, in a move which could put lives at risk.
Police Scotland want condoms banned from all saunas across the Scottish Capital, including the two gay saunas that are based in the city.
The story being widely reported is that a number of heterosexual saunas or saunas that are known to have sex workers working there are affected by the potential ban, but speaking to a gay sauna in Edinburgh TheGayUK has discovered that the ban would also have an impact on all gay saunas in Scotland.
The police set out the contentious plans in a letter which was delivered to the city’s licensing committee, who is deciding on the license renewals on several of the city’s saunas.
The letter asks the licensing committee to include new licensing conditions, one of which included: “no items of a sexual nature will be permitted 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.’
The call for the ban has put Scotland’s HIV/Aids charities on red alert, with Robert Mckay, the nation director of the Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland saying that the idea was ‘Draconian’
He went on to say:
‘We would be keen to see the full details of any proposals that would prevent saunas from having condoms on their premises. Taking away condoms doesn’t stop people from having sex; it does however result in unprotected sex and increased rates of HIV and sexually transmitted infections. It is vital that people can protect themselves wherever they have sex.’
‘Our point of view is to make sure that people are kept safe. Condoms have proved very successful in preventing STDs and HIV transmissions.’
GAY SAUNA RAIDS
Earlier in the year Police Scotland raided two gay saunas in Edinburgh, a report lodged by the police stated that:
‘One member of staff and six male customers were found within.
‘During the inspection, officers found evidence to indicate that the premises were used for activities other than those permitted by the licence, specifically sexual activity.
‘On behalf of the Chief Constable, I object to the renewal of the licence under the terms of Schedule 1, Paragraph 5 (3) (d) of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 on the grounds that the premises have not been operated in accordance with the activities on their licence.’