An Garda Síochána
As part of ‘Operation Quest’, lead by An Garda Síochána and Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSB), two Days of Action were carried out on November 21 and 22 to target those purchasing sexual services and to enforce legislation which criminalises these transactions.
An Garda Síochána undertook intelligence led operations across eight of its divisions Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) North, DMR West, DMR South Central, Waterford, Cork City, Mayo, Sligo and Louth.
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), through Operation Quest, in liaison with local detective units and took place in furtherance of an enforcement strategy designed to target those involved in the purchase of sexual services.
In the course of this intelligence led operation, 23 individuals were stopped and spoken to by members of An Garda Síochána, on the suspicion of having purchased sexual services.
A number of investigation files will now be prepared for forwarding to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Combined with recent arrests made by the Garda Síochána arising from alleged attacks on individuals operating as persons in prostitution, this operation reinforces An Garda Síochána’s commitment to target the demand for prostitution and to protect vulnerable persons, including potential victims of human trafficking involved in prostitution.