It'd be interesting to know, broadly speaking, the region of the country you're writing about, Knick?
There seem to be different attitudes towards Parlours in different parts of the country, witness this: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/12/edinburgh-licensing-saunas-massage-parlours-sex , which was in yesterday's paper.
Even in Greater Manchester, where the authorities seem to have been more tolerant of Parlours than in other parts of the country, I'm aware of Parlours which were open when I began my "career" which are no longer aound. I seem to remember that some of these have been closed because of allegations of links with trafficking or money-laundering but others have been closed because, as far as I'm aware, of objections by [Muslim] neighbours.
The final paragraph of the article I quoted interested me because the Scottish authorities justified their actions on the grounds that Saunas are less significant these days than they used to be, even when I began punting.
Its VERY rare i see an allegation of a brothel having had trafficked women working in it turning into a conviction for Trafficking. Many times its given as a reason for a raid, possible or suspected trafficking, the end result 9 times out of 10 in running a brothel, controlling prostitutes for gain and/or money laundering.
Money Laundering is what ALL brothels who dont pay tax do of course which is why its a criminal offence quite rightly. And yes your right of course the top cops in any given area can allow a brothel to operate or not as they see fit, although that view could change overnight.
In Manchester Sandys Superstars is still allowed to operate yet some other Brothels have been closed in the last year, so even within the same police force some areas of that force view things differently. Thats why i find the hypocrisy of the police staggering, after many brothel raids they say how bad a thing such a place is yet would have been visiting said brothel on a regular basis since it opened as they do all brothels so didnt enforce the law on those ocassions. Neighbours complaining is a big reason a raid might occur.
Bottom line for me is if you run an illegal business be aware the police and/or HMRC could turn up at any moment. Not a risk i would take, and even more so nowadays with POCA.