THE city council says it has "no powers" to stop junkies using drugs in public loos after an investigation found traces of cocaine in sites across the city.

Brighton and Hove City Council claim drug use in its public toilets is a "matter for the police", despite calls to introduce measures to stop the growing drug "epidemic".

It comes after an Argus investigation found traces of cocaine in seven of the city's busiest loos - with lines of the drug present on toilet seats and baby changing stations.

A spokesman told the paper: "It is often the case locally and nationally that people who use cocaine do so in toilets – including those located in pubs, bars restaurants, and shops as well as public toilets.

“The council has no powers to stop people using cocaine. That would be a matter for the police.

“The council’s public toilets are cleaned regularly. However, it is simply not possible to give each toilet a thorough clean after each and every use.

“The council works with Sussex Police to tackle drug use in the city, and will continue to do so.”

Sussex Police claim to take the sale and distribution of illegal drugs "extremely seriously" and vowed to continue to crack down on County Line dealers.

According to the force, between September and December of last year, Sussex Police disrupted ten drug dealing lines – eight of which were linked to County Lines – resulting in the arrests of 37 people.

The Argus: Cocaine was found in toilets across the city Cocaine was found in toilets across the city

Nineteen of these were charged and remanded and eight have already pleaded guilty.

Detective chief inspector Cath O’Connor said: "The sale and distribution of illegal drugs is something Sussex Police takes extremely seriously and our officers work tirelessly to catch the perpetrators and safeguard those most at risk of harm.

“Not only are they harmful substances in themselves, the exploitation and violence which is part and parcel of the drug trade has a devastating impact on those involved.

“We have a dedicated team which investigates drug supply in Brighton and Hove, and works with neighbouring forces, including the Metropolitan Police, to clamp down on County Lines gangs, shut down their drug dealing lines and disrupt their activities."