Airbnb’s rise leads to alarming trend in Stockholm

Swedes are unknowingly renting homes for prostitution
Apartments in Sweden booked through services such as Airbnb are now the biggest market for prostitution, according to police, with pimps and sex workers booking them using fake profiles.
Police in Stockholm say the rise of Airbnb is encouraging growing numbers of prostitutes to use apartments. Sex workers are active at around 200 addresses on a typical day in the city, police say, and hotels are no longer their accommodation of choice.
“Second hand apartments are now the largest market for prostitution in Stockholm,” Simon Häggström of Stockholm’s police force, tells Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
Fake profiles of couples are usually used to deceive the owners.
“People are naïve,” Häggström said. “They should think some more about who they rent out to second hand.”
Pye Jakobsson, a spokesperson for Rose Alliance Sweden, which campaigns for the rights of sex workers, said it was “probably” the case that Airbnb was being used for such purposes, something she linked to Stockholm’s acute housing shortage as well as a recent push by police to train hotel employees to recognise sex workers at established properties. Airbnb says it has a “zero tolerance policy” on sex crimes.
Dagens Nyheter / The Local


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