A six-month project led by the London Police Service (LPS) into human trafficking has resulted in 78 arrests and 129 criminal charges laid.
The project was dubbed "Project Equinox" and ran from Oct. 4, 2016 to April 1, 2017.
The project focused on three aspects of trafficking: John Stings, where individuals responding to escort ads were identified and charges were laid; human trafficking investigations, where suspects engaged in trafficking were identified and charges were laid and the third focus was to identify possible human trafficking victims and relocating them.
LPS partnered with neighbouring police services as well as local community organizations such as the London Abused Women's Shelter and the Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex.
According to a LPS media release, the following statistics were reported at the conclusion of the project:
- 78 individuals were arrested.
- 129 Criminal Code charges were laid, including four human trafficking charges.
- 24 Controlled drug and Substances Act charges were laid.
- 35 Johns were charged.
- 18 women involved in the sex trade as a result of human trafficking who’s ages ranged from 15-55 years were assisted in leaving the sex trade and provided with supports.
- $8,070 worth of controlled substances were seized.
- $12,740 in Canadian currency was seized.
- Four weapons seized — two knives, one expandable baton and one rifle.