Exploring available knowledge and evidence on prostitution in Scotland via practitioner-based interviews

Exploration of available knowledge and evidence on the scale and nature of prostitution in Scotland based on practitioner-based interviews.

Question 4 Impact of prostitution on local communities

  • What is the social impact on communities where prostitution takes place?

Main findings

  • The main source of information about the impact of prostitution on communities was from the police about public complaints. There have been reductions in the number of public complaints that might reflect the fact that a greater proportion of prostitution now takes place in indoor settings, and tends to be less focussed in a particular local area [14] . Therefore it has become less visible to the public and the police and there may be fewer complaints related to noise, litter, and violence.
  • The change from outdoor to indoor prostitution was perceived by some to have introduced prostitution activities into a wider number of communities - away from the traditional 'red light' areas of the past. This might have raised concern for residents in some areas, for example where prostitution takes place in short-term rented accommodation or 'party flats'.
  • Some support services noted perceptions about prostitution-associated risks, including the customers and the people involved in selling sex, that might not be accurate reflections of the real situation.
  • Some areas reported continuing community concerns about prostitution in their locations.


Email: Justice Analytical Services

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