Police have found an ally in their decision to load information about prostitutes to a national database - the member of Parliament who introduced the bill to decriminalise the sex industry.

Labour MP Tim Barnett, who sponsored the Prostitution Reform Bill, said yesterday that he did not believe there was anything innately wrong in holding data on sex workers that was legally collected before the law change.

Police announced last month that sex worker registers, set up by police and newspaper publishers to ensure adult entertainment advertisements were genuine, would be stopped and all information destroyed.

However, separate information collected under the Massage Parlour Act 1978 and stored alongside the registers has, in some cases, been loaded on to a national crimefighting database.

Sex workers feared the information could be held against them.

Mr Barnett said he did not have a problem with police wanting to keep information they had on people.

The issue was how freely available it was.

"As long as there is no possibility that anyone besides police could get access to that information, that it was purely used if there was a need to look at that individual, then I don't have a problem," he said.

A police spokesman confirmed yesterday that the information on the database would not be considered as part of the formal police vetting process.

Prostitutes Collective national co-ordinator Catherine Healy said that although police had given assurances the information would not be abused, she and those working in the sex industry did not have the same confidence.