A SPECIAL GARDA unit has been set up to tackle organised prostitution.
The national unit has been established under the Garda National Protective Services Bureau. It will police “all aspects of organised criminality within the sex trade, including the enforcement of legislation criminalising the purchase of sexual services”, according to a garda spokesman.
The unit is under the responsibility of the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Organised and Serious Crime, based at Harcourt Square in Dublin.
It aims to protect victims of human trafficking involved in prostitution in Ireland, by tackling crime gangs involved in organisation prostitution, by targeting the demand for prostitution and by safeguarding those persons trafficked for sexual exploitation.
Currently, two people are before the courts charged with multiple offences in relation to organised prostitution, brothel keeping, money laundering and fraud related offences in Dublin.
Detective Chief Superintendent Declan Daly said: "A physical or sexual assault on a prostitute is a serious crime and an attack on a vulnerable person in the community. Any person who commits such an attack can expect to be subject to a criminal investigation. Those persons who seek out and purchase sexual services also commit a criminal offence and will be prosecuted”.