Gardai establish new unit to investigate organised prostitution
The Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSB) has officially launched a new Organised Prostitution Investigation Unit.
The unit will police and investigate all aspects of organised crime within the sex trade ‘including the enforcement of legislation criminalising the purchase of sexual services’.
Establishing the Organised Prostitution Unit on Tuesday reinforces An Garda Siochana’s commitment to protecting vulnerable members of the community, including victims of human trafficking.
The Organised Prostitution Investigation Unit, formally known as and operating as Operation Quest, will work to tackle crime gangs involved in organisation prostitution, by targeting the demand for prostitution and by safeguarding those trafficked for sexual exploitation.
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.’
Currently, the Organised Prostitution Investigation Unit has a number of persons before the courts who were involved in violent attacks on vulnerable persons involved in the sex trade.
They have also actively been targeting organised prostitution and brothel-keeping.
As an example, Gardai referred to a 44-year-old male and 26-year-old female who are currently before the courts for multiple offences including Brothel-Keeping, Money Laundering, and Fraud in the greater Dublin area.
A statement from An Garda Siochana stated that they are aware a significant number of serious attacks on persons in the sex trade go unreported, but would ‘encourage those in the sex trade to report all such attacks, which will be rigorously investigated.’