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Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many brothels he estimates there are in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) each police district command unit. (83913)

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has advised that it would be inappropriate to disclose the number of brothels they believe to be active as this could compromise ongoing operations aimed at disrupting such activities and bringing about successful prosecutions.

The PSNI continues to gather intelligence and information about such activities across Northern Ireland.

In September 2005 South Belfast DCU set up a drugs and vice team after analysis indicated problems related to sex crimes. In that DCU the PSNI have successfully closed down 20 brothels and charged 12 persons in connection with offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.