The West End Extra newspaper has had a number of articles about the raids. There was a debate in St Anne's Church recently where sex workers, residents and business owners could speak their minds. The raids were initially said to be to do with stolen goods but little evidence was found of that. Instead police were trying to find evidence of sex workers being controlled by a third party.
"Following the raids, police sought to close down 20 brothels, but they have been criticised for failing to provide evidence that the premises were linked to the handling of stolen goods.
Instead a district judge issued “brothel closure orders” after police claimed to have found evidence that women in the flats were controlled by an unknown third party, which contravenes prostitution laws."The issues that the police have used to try to justify these raids are property stolen from tourists, shoplifted items and drugs. They found little evidence of any of these problems during the raids. There also seems to be an issue with the people who the sex workers pay their rent to. Although Soho Estates own the freehold of many of the flats there is a 'black economy of anonymous landlords'.
Rupert Everett has written an article for the Guardian newspaper where he reports what sex workers have said in court and he confirms that police were trying to find evidence of the mysterious 'third party'.