Five men held after ‘callous’ attacks on sex workers

Five men held after ‘callous’ attacks on sex workers

Five men have been arrested after a spate of attacks on sex workers.

A number of workers in the Dublin and Galway areas were lured on the pretence of pre-booked appointments and violently attacked and robbed by a number of men over a period of weeks in October.

A search operation was carried out on Tuesday as part of Operation Quest, led by Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSB).

Three addresses were searched under warrant in the West Dublin area and four men were arrested.

All four, aged from 18 to 37, were detained for questioning at Garda stations in Dublin.

A fifth man was arrested on foot of a bench warrant and is before the District Court.

The operation was assisted by units from Dublin Metropolitan South Central, Western and Northern divisions, and Longford/Roscommon divisions.

The force is continuing to appeal to any sex worker who may have been subject to a similar attack to immediately report the incident, and says anyone who comes forward will be treated confidentially, with compassion and sensitivity.

An Garda Siochana is also appealing to anyone with information on what they call “callous and targeted” attacks to contact gardai to assist in bringing the attackers to justice.

Sex workers’ representative groups say a distrust of police means some people who may have been attacked are reluctant to come forward.

Ireland adopted the Nordic Model on March 27 2017, criminalising the purchase of sex, not the selling of sex, which the Government says is aimed at tackling trafficking and protecting vulnerable people in prostitution.

Sex worker organisations say the new laws make workers more vulnerable.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

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