184. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if adequate resourcing has been put in place to implement the new prostitution provisions in the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 criminalising the purchase of sexual services and to ensure that An Garda Síochána and the National Protective Services Bureau are properly resourced to prepare prosecutions against both the purchasers and those that organise and profit from prostitution in a planned and targeted way; and if sufficient resourcing will be granted to run a public awareness campaign regarding the new law. [14513/18]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continuous review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.
The question of a public awareness campaign is under consideration by my Department, in conjunction with An Garda Síochána and with other partners, including civil society. The Deputy will be aware of an awareness-raising campaign targeting purchasers of sex which took place in 2015. The 'We Don't Buy It' campaign was part of a wider EU-funded project aimed at the prevention of human trafficking. Any future awareness-raising exercise could be expected to build on the experience of that campaign, highlighting the law changes since then.