Gardaí contact 38 people suspected of buying sexual services

Files to be prepared for DPP with view to establishing if criminal prosecution should be initiated

This is the second national operation targeting the demand for prostitution this year with further operations planned. Photograph: iStock

This is the second national operation targeting the demand for prostitution this year with further operations planned. Photograph: iStock

 

Gardaí stopped and spoke to 38 people on suspicion of having purchased “sexual services” in various urban and rural areas across the country last week.

A number of files are now due to be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) with a view to establishing if any criminal prosecution should be initiated.

Gardaí conducted intelligence led operations across nine Garda divisions in Dublin, Kilkenny/Carlow, Cork city, Kerry, Galway and Donegal targeting the demand for prostitution and to enforce legislation which criminalises the purchase of sexual services.

“During the course of this intelligence led operation, 38 individuals were stopped and spoken to by members of An Garda Síochána, arising from suspicion of having purchased sexual services from an individual involved in prostitution,” a Garda statement on Friday said.

The days of action were co-ordinated by the Operation Quest team at the Garda National Protective Services Bureau, in liaison with local detective units and took place “in furtherance of an enforcement strategy to target persons involved in the purchase of sexual services”, gardaí said.

This is the second national operation targeting the demand for prostitution this year with further operations planned.

The days of action were also scheduled to coincide with an EMPACT (European multidisciplinary platform against criminal threats) week of action targeting sexual exploitation

“This operation reinforces An Garda Síochána’s commitment to target the demand for prostitution and to protect vulnerable persons, including victims of human trafficking involved in prostitution,” a Garda spokesman said.

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 criminalises the purchase of sexual services and the soliciting or purchasing of sex from a trafficked person.