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I never thought I'd see prostitutes patrolling Chichester

A middle-aged man has told of his shock after coming face-to-face with two prostitutes in Chichester city centre.

The 56-year-old, who asked not to be named, was approached by the women on his way home from the library at around 6.45pm last Tuesday.

The women, dressed in skimpy clothes, were plying for trade separately.

One, in her late 20s, was on a bench outside the Spar convenience store in East Street and the other, in her late teens, opposite the Cattle Market car park in Market Street.

"When the first woman spoke to me it didn't occur to me that she was a hooker. It was only when I got to the second one that I realised that the first one was, too," the man from Chichester said.

"The first one was sitting on the new benches outside the Spar shop and asked me if I could 'give her a smoke and maybe a bit more'.

"I remember saying to her that if she went over the road to the pub there were always people outside having a fag so she could always have a fag from them.

"You rarely see any beggars in Chichester apart from the Big Issue sellers. That is why it was so obvious when the second one came up to me saying she had 'run into hard times and needed some money to get back to Poole'.

"Needless to say I declined the first and spoke to the second in French to make out I didn't know what she was talking about."

The freelance journalist, originally from Newcastle, admitted he was shocked to find the prostitutes in Chichester.

"This has never happened to me before. Anywhere. And that includes where I come from in Newcastle.

"You might expect it in Portsmouth, Southampton or Brighton, but not in Chichester.

"I think they are perhaps trying it on in a new place. They probably think Chichester has got a lot of money, a lot of quite rich people and thought they would try their luck."

The city centre was not very busy at the time, he said, although there were a few people wandering around, and he did not see the women approach anyone else.

Since the incident he has not seen a repeat but admitted he had been busy working so he had not had a chance to get out very much.

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