Rise in number of people facing prosecutions for paying for sex

Rise in number of people facing prosecutions for paying for sex
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14 people face prosecution this year for paying for sex with a prostitute - twice as many as last year.

Since April 2017, it has been illegal to buy sexual services from a prostitute.

According to details released under the Freedom of Information, there has been a rise in prosecutions recently.

Last year, the Director of Public Prosecutions directed that seven people face should face court proceedings for the offence.

So far this year, however, that number has risen to 14.

Sheila Crowley from Ruhama, which supports women affected by prostitution, said the figures are very low but says gardaí are trying to enforce the law.

"The gardaí have really stepped up a gear in recent months and they are taking this legislation very seriously," said Ms Crowley.

"I would hope to see more arrests in the future because that's the only way there will be a deterrent to men buying sex.

"Because we know that from the research where men have actually said the only thing that would deter them is the embarrassment of actually getting caught and going to court."

These figures also show that since 2009, 150 people have been prosecuted for running a brothel, 22 people for people-trafficking and for 44 for what the DPP describes as 'other prostitution' offences.

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