Belfast Telegraph

Officers make first arrest under new prostitution law

By David Young

Police in Northern Ireland have made their first arrest under the new offence of paying for sex.

PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton said a man was detained in a raid on a suspected brothel.

He gave only brief details of the arrest, which happened last month, as he addressed members of the Policing Board yesterday.

Mr Hamilton told the board: "Detectives from our human trafficking team conducting a brothel search and arrested a man for paying for sexual services - the first such arrest under Section 15 of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act 2015.

"Three females were also arrested and interviewed for keeping a brothel."

The PSNI said no further details on the operation, including the location, were being made public.

This region became the first part of the UK to ban payment for sexual services earlier this year.

The law change was championed by DUP Assembly member Lord Morrow. It has been hailed by Christian groups but denounced by sex workers.

Paid-for consensual sex had previously been legal in Northern Ireland, although activities such as kerb-crawling, brothel-keeping and pimping were against the law.

The ban has seen Northern Ireland implement a prohibition similar to the model in Sweden.

The law was among a number of clauses in a Private Members' Bill tabled at Stormont. It became the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act 2015 in January.

Belfast Telegraph


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