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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 27 June, 2019
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First man arrested under new prostitution laws in the North

A Bill to introduce similar legislation south of the border is currently in the works.

Image: Shutterstock/Photographee.eu

POLICE IN NORTHERN Ireland have arrested the first person under the new laws that target the buyers of sex.

During a search of a brothel last month police arrested a man for paying for sexual services.

This is the first arrest under the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act 2015.

During the search three females were also arrested for keeping a brothel.

This emerged during an address given by Chief Constable George Hamilton to the Northern Ireland Policing Board in Belfast yesterday.

The laws have caused some controversy since being introduced with speculation that they will cause an increase in the sex trade south of the border.

The new legislation in the North which criminalises purchasing sex aims to mirror the so-called Swedish model.

South of the border 

In the Republic of Ireland the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015 was published in September.

If passed, it would criminalise the purchasing of sex and introduce other new measures relating to the sexual exploitation of children.

There has been strong feeling toward the Bill from both sides, with the Sex Workers Alliance speaking out against it, saying that it will force individuals to “work in more dangerous and hidden places”.

The Bill has received support from anti-prostitution charity Ruhama and the Immigrant Council of Ireland.

Those in support of the bill had speculated that the new legislation in Northern Ireland could lead to a boom in the sex trade south of the border.

Read: Dutch brothel owners now have to speak the same language as sex workers

Also: Sex workers hit out at new bill criminalising prostitution clients

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