All forms of prostitution should be legalised, according to the councillor with responsibility for public protection in Brighton and Hove.

Green Councillor Ben Duncan said as long as women are not being exploited, the law should be relaxed to allow brothels and kerb crawlers to operate openly in the city.

His comments came after The Argus revealed yesterday (November 16) that increasing numbers of Brighton student girls are being forced into prostitution because of spiralling debts.

“It’s the oldest profession in the land and it’s not going to go away,” said Coun Duncan.

“The simple act of having sex for money should not be a criminal act, if you are doing it in an open way and no one is being hurt.

He added: “The Green Party believes that the sex worker industry should be completely legalised, as long as there is no coercion or sexual violence."

But the police said that the law already largely allows ‘escort agencies’ to ferry girls directly to clients’ homes for sex.

DCI Nev Kemp, head of Brighton and Hove CID, said: “In the escort agency scenario there is no offence other than the pimp living off immoral means."

Leader of the Conservative opposition Geoffrey Theobald said he partly agreed with Coun Duncan’s views, but said he didn't believe all forms of prostitution should be decriminalised.

He said: “But in my view the best interests of the women themselves should always be the priority when looking at these matters.”

For more on this story see today's Argus.

The Argus: Daily Echo on Facebook - Like us on Facebook

The Argus: Google+ Add us to your circles on Google+