Man Arrested for Soliciting Prostitution in Downtown Reykjavík Skip to content

Man Arrested for Soliciting Prostitution in Downtown Reykjavík

A man was arrested on suspicion of soliciting prostitution in downtown Reykjavík in the early hours of Thursday morning, Vísir reports. According to police, they received a call around 3:00 am complaining of “an unwanted man,” although where precisely the man was unwelcome and what exactly he was doing wasn’t specified by the caller.

Police eventually located the man, who they arrested on suspicion of having attempted to purchase sexual services. In addition to having ignored police orders, the man was also found in possession of illegal drugs. He was taken to a police station where he spent the night and was expected to be questioned on Friday.

In 2009, Icelandic law was changed such that it is not illegal to offer sexual services, but it is illegal to purchase them. At the same time, prostitution was also classified as abuse. This is modelled on Swedish law which, as spokeswoman for the Stígamót Education and Counseling Center for Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Violence Guðrún Jónsdóttir noted at the time, “addresses the demand fueling the commercial sex industry.”

RÚV reports that roughly 60 people are offering paid sexual services online in Iceland at any given time. The majority of these sex workers are of foreign origin, although it can be hard to actually identify Icelandic prostitutes as they tend to use “legitimate” dating apps or websites to find clients. It was long suspected that tourists were the primary customers driving an increase in prostitution in Iceland, but recent investigations show that this isn’t the full story. There is considerable demand among locals as well; smaller towns and villages around the country have, for instance, also experienced a rise in prostitution.

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