The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. Brian Lenihan T.D., today welcomed the participation of An Garda Síochána in the UK-led anti-trafficking initiative, Operation Pentameter II. He also congratulated the Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy on the proactive preventative approach being taken by An Garda Síochána in dealing with this type of criminal activity.

The operation, which is being launched in London today, is primarily a coordinated campaign of police enforcement activity to tackle the trafficking of human beings for sexual exploitation within the Common Travel Area of this jurisdiction, Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

The participation of An Garda Síochána, who will run complementary enforcement operations in this jurisdiction during the same period, will mean that the whole Common Travel Area will become a more hostile environment for those who engage in the nefarious trade of human trafficking.

Commenting on the Operation, Minister Lenihan said: "Operation Pentameter II is an example of the proactive preventative approach being taken by An Garda Síochána in tackling those who engage in this despicable crime.

Given the common travel area, and in particular the land border with Northern Ireland, it is essential that the UK and Ireland continue to work together on initiatives such as Operation Pentameter to ensure that we simply don’t displace human trafficking from one jurisdiction to the other.

While there is no evidence of a significant human trafficking problem in Ireland, the Government is determined that all necessary actions are taken to ensure that this remains the case.  In the coming weeks I will publish a new Trafficking Bill which will strengthen the law here in dealing with the evil of human trafficking."

Both Garda personnel and officials of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform have been attending planning meetings for this operation, led by Gloucestershire Constabulary, since earlier this year.  The operation will run into 2008. 

3 October 2007