Bangkok - Sex workers help reduce the incidence of rape, a senior Thai police officer in charge of protection of women and children said in an interview published on Sunday.
"It is possible to get rid of all the sex workers from our country, but what would happen then? There would be more rape cases," Police Colonel Napanwut Liamsanguan, head of Bangkok's Children and Women's Protection Division, told the Bangkok Post.
The interview was part of a report on street prostitution in the capital.
Not everyone agrees with the theory that prostitution, which is illegal in Thailand, helps reduce sex-related crimes.
"The belief that prostitution can help reduce rape cases in society is just a misunderstanding," said Chantawipa Abhisuk, head of the Empower Foundation that assists sex workers.
"There are many rape cases in our society and they are usually perpetrated by someone close to the victim, not by some total stranger," she told the newspaper.