Prostitution: Trial Schemes

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About 20 saunas and massage parlours are licensed by the city council. The licensing committee can close down any of the businesses if they receive complaints from the police or local residents, but most are situated in non-residential areas.


The police were greatly concerned with a rise in the number of prostitutes working on the streets in the city centre. The Cleveland force and the council proposed setting up a "zone of tolerance" in a business area, but this has been shelved after complaints from nearby firms.


Using local by-laws set up in 1985, the county's district councils regulate and license massage joints, saunas and health clubs that offer sun tanning services. The system is used to ensure that no "improper conduct" - such as prostitution - is carried out on the premises.


About six saunas are licensed and regular covert and overt inspections are made. Any establishment caught offering sex would have its licence revoked.