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Prostitution offences have dropped hugely in the last five years

New figures from the gardaí and the CSO suggest that sexual offences have diminished massively in recent times.

shutterstock_209071675-2 Source: Shutterstock/Photographee.eu

INCIDENCES OF SEXUAL offences in Ireland have dropped off dramatically in recent years.

The figures, released via the Department of Justice to Labour Senator Ivana Bacik last week, show that there were just 36 such incidents recorded by gardaí in 2016 – down from 228 in 2011.

Last year there were just five incidences of prostitution/soliciting recorded – compared to 157 such offences in 2011 – a drop of 97%.

Incidences of brothel keeping meanwhile dropped from 57 to 29 in the same period, a fall of 49%.

10 Number of prosecutions and orders regarding prostitution-related offences since 2013 Source: Courts Service of Ireland

The drops seen do not, however, bear any relation to the enactment of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017, which was commenced on 22 February this year.

That act saw on-street prostitution (otherwise known as solicitation) decriminalised for the first time, while two new offences of purchasing sexual services were added to the statute.

The number of people prosecuted for prostitution offences has also fallen dramatically since 2013, according to figures released by the Courts Service of Ireland.

All told, 63 such orders were made against 47 defendants in 2013 – that has fallen 56% to 28 orders being made against 14 defendants in 2017.

The reasons for the across-the-board drop are unclear, though with the change in the law in early 2017, a marked change can be expected to be seen when figures for this year are eventually released.

One figure that has not changed to any extent is the numbers of people sent for trial – that figure is unchanged from two in 2013 to the same number in 2016.

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