Most of us probably book an Airbnb when we want somewhere nice and affordable to stay when we’re heading off on holiday somewhere, but it’s now emerged that people are using them for much more sinister activities than we could have ever expected.
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Yes, as the headline suggests it’s come to our knowledge that a bunch of people are actually renting out Airbnbs and then proceeding to use them as makeshift brothels, as they’re cheaper than using expensive hotels and more discreet than home visits. Apparently handlers book a couple of weeks in a venue and advertise their services ahead of time, before moving in and reaping the rewards. I suppose it’s a pretty good plan when you think about it, because it would make them way harder to track down than if they just set up shop in one place.
Last week, several people were arrested at ten different venues in Gloucestershire after major surveillance. Sergeant Matt Puttock, the tactical lead for sexual exploitation in the Gloucestershire Police force, said the following:
Some of these places visited have been Airbnbs that have been rented out for a week or two.
These are by their nature often quite hidden places. It’s very transient as they often hire Airbnb places or other serviced apartments.
Many times neighbours do not know what is going on. Landlords have often used us as mediators to try and remove these people once they know what they are up to.
We collected various bits of information and visited these places not to criminalise the sex workers, but to check on their safety.
We interview all the women and check why they are there and whether they want to be there.
Generally we have no power to make them leave the situation they are in but we can use various methods to remove women if needs be.
But it is difficult. Some are brainwashed to not to talk to the police or any other authority.
Serious. This isn’t the only place that has been affected by this trend though: there were 14 Airbnb brothels identified in Newquay alone between last summer and January and other venues have been confirmed in Cornwall, the Lake District, Bournemouth, Cambridge, Preston, Aberdeen and Norwich. The flats tend to be high end – roughly £1000 a week – and it’s being said that Romanian traffickers have their own settled route all throughout the country that they follow every time they’re over.
That’s kinda scary when you think about it. I guess if you’re lucky enough to be renting out your house for £1000 a pop then be careful and make sure you know what’s actually going on in there. Just saying.
For more prostitutes, check out this one performing a bizarre rant in the mirror about her client finishing too fast. Weird.