Irish Policy on Sexual crime
An Garda Síochána (The Irish Police) has new and comprehensive procedures governing the investigation of sexual crime which places an emphasis on tackling crimes against children as well as proactive cooperation with all relevant Departments, organisations and agencies to improve the safety of children. In 2015, the Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSB) was established which is headed by a detective chief superintendent, three detective superintendents and two detective inspectors. All the officers assigned to the bureau are specially trained for the role, which also involves the sensitive process of interviewing young children who have been the victims of sexual and physical abuse.
Significant Criminal Justice legislative measures have also been introduced in recent years to strengthen child protection including the Criminal Justice (Withholding of Information on Offences against Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 and the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012. Furthermore, the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Bill 2015 will build on legislative and institutional changes to improve investigations and protect children from abuse.
The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015, which is due to be enacted shortly, will provide for two new offences of purchasing sexual services, in the context of prostitution. The purpose of these offences is to target the demand for prostitution. The first is a general offence of paying to engage in sexual activity with a prostitute which carries a penalty of a fine of up to €500 for a first offence and fines of up to €1000 for a second or subsequent offence. The second is the more serious offence of paying for sexual activity with a trafficked person, in the context of prostitution, and carries a potential penalty of up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine. In both cases, the person selling the sexual service will not commit an offence.
Garda National Protective Services Bureau,
National Support Services,
Harcourt Square, Dublin 2.