A Christian charity wants sleazy ‘sex saunas’ in Scotland to have their licences “revoked immediately” if suggested illegal activities are going on.
CARE (Christian Action Research and Education) also made clear that it backs a move by Scottish Labour politician Trish Godman to make it an offence to purchase sex.
Gordon Macdonald, from the charity’s Scottish arm, said if Mrs Godman’s proposals were implemented “the saunas would close because they would have no customers”.
Mr Macdonald said: “The idea of these places being driven underground is used to support their existence, but these claims are not backed up by substantial empirical evidence.
“In Sweden, where buying sex is illegal, there hasn’t been evidence of it going underground.”
The saunas and massage parlours under scrunity are given public entertainment licences, putting them in the same category as concert halls. Officials have previously claimed to be ignorant of sexual activity in the controversial saunas. Operating a brothel is outlawed in Scotland.
Mrs Godman, MSP for West Renfrewshire, is set to present a member’s bill to the Scottish Parliament which would make it an offence to purchase sexual services. She is currently carrying out a consultation.
Mrs Godman attempted to change the law in the same area last year but was thwarted when the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee decided not to take her plans forward to the next stage of debate.
At the end of last year Glasgow City Council launched a campaign to stamp out prostitution.
The campaign, called End Prostitution Now, featured a series of hard hitting posters to raise awareness of prostitution’s harmful effects.
The focus of the posters was on men who purchase sex rather than the prostitutes themselves.
The posters showed actors playing ordinary men in everyday situations, such as at work or a football match, reflecting on the consequences of using prostitutes.
One poster shows a dad with his son on his shoulders musing about how men can “go to a prostitute then still go home to their wife and family”.