An alleged incident of campus-based prostitution was reported to Sussex Police by the University of Sussex in mid-March. The matter was immediately referred to the police. It revolved around the use of a room on campus as a brothel.
Adverts had been placed on an internet escort site by two women – Sylvy, 21, and Rosie, 37. They were offering sexual services, both individually and as a pair, with a room on the university campus as the destination for any interested clients.
The police statement issued following the investigation found no evidence of any criminal offence being committed.
The university continued to reassure concerned students: “There was no suggestion that any student here was working as a prostitute, nor that students or staff were being placed at risk. As the landlord of the property concerned, we have looked at whether there is any evidence of the tenancy agreement being breached and would take appropriate steps if necessary.
“As far as we are aware, this is the first time that any such allegation has been made in relation to university accommodation.”
Prostitution itself is not illegal in the UK but keeping a brothel – having more than one individual available in the same place for paid sex – is. Current laws also target pimping and soliciting sex in public.
The laws are complex due to a lack of public support towards full illegality due to the difficulty in then enforcing it, and the police resources required to do so.
Additionally, organisations like the English Collective of Prostitutes campaign for progressive laws to be implemented in aid of decriminalisation and greater safety and support for those involved.