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'They need to be vigilant': Appeal for sex workers to come forward over recent spate of assaults

Detective chief superintendent Declan Daly said no sex worker who comes forward will face prosecution.

GARDAÍ INVESTIGATING ATTACKS on sex workers have said that there may be more victims of the recent spate of assaults. 

Yesterday, gardaí said seven attacks have taken place on sex workers advertising services online since mid-October. 

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland today, detective chief superintendent Declan Daly said they are appealing for information as some victims may feel reluctant to come forward.

He said that there were a high number of vulnerable people in the industry as well as a high element of exploitation of sex workers.

On each occasion, an online appointment is made but when the parties involved meet, the sex worker is attacked and robbed by a number of men.

Gardaí said the motive for the attacks appears to be monetary gain and that violence has been used.

Each of the attacks were described as “terrifying incidents” for those affected.

Daly said today: “An online booking is made. When a client arrives, he and others assault the victim. A search is conducted of the premises. And cash, other valuables, phones are taken.”

The senior garda said the “primary concern” is the protection of people within the community and that anyone who comes forward would be treated with sensitivity and compassion.

He said that no sex worker who comes forward would face any prosecution. “That’s not even a consideration for us,” Daly said.

He added: “They need to be very vigilant at the moment, particularly taking on online client. If they are concerned about a client, they should cancel the appointment.”

Any person with information on the attacks is urged to call the Garda Confidential Number on 1800 666 111 or contact any garda station.

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