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Gardaí speak to 23 people suspected of purchasing sexual services

Gardaí carried out a number of days of action across the country last week.

Image: Shutterstock/Stephen Barnes

GARDAÍ HAVE SPOKEN to 23 people in recent days as a result of suspicion of having purchased sexual services from people involved in prostitution. 

As part of Operation Quest, gardaí undertook intelligence-led operations last Thursday and Friday in areas of Dublin, Waterford, Cork City, Mayo, Sligo and Louth. 

Gardaí said the days of action were carried out for the purpose of targeting the demand for sexual services and to enforce legislation which criminalises the purchase of such services. 

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

The two days of action were coordinated by the Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSB), in liaison with local detective units and took place in furtherance of an enforcement strategy designed to target persons involved in the purchase of sexual services.

During the course of the operation, 23 people were stopped and spoken to by members of An Garda Síochána, arising from suspicion of having purchased sexual services from people involved in prostitution. 

A number of investigation files will now be prepared for forwarding to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), with a view to establishing if any criminal prosecution is to be initiated, as a result of the arrests made during the days of action. 

Combined with recent arrests made arising from the alleged attacks on individuals operation as people in prostitution, gardaí have said this operation reinforces An Garda Síochána’s commitment to target the demand for prostitution and to protect vulnerable people, including potential victims of human trafficking. 

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Last week’s days of action represent the third national operation targeting the demand for prostitution undertaken by gardaí this year. 

An Garda Síochána intends to continue to undertake operations of this nature throughout 2020. 

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