Twenty-eight people are facing over 70 human trafficking charges since a provincial human trafficking Intelligence-led Joint Forces Strategy launched just over a year ago.
According to the release, the strategy involved 21 police services across the province, including our local area Ontario Provincial Police and Anishinabek Police detachments.
Greater Sudbury Police Service Staff Sergeant Guy Renaud says at the centre of the human trafficking investigations are the people who are being exploited – the victims.
He stresses individuals who come from extremely vulnerable populations are more likely to be trafficked and it is estimated that approximately 50 per cent of the trafficked women and girls in Canada are Indigenous.
Strategy Lead Detective Inspector Jordan Whitesell adds due to the transient nature of human trafficking, one police service cannot battle human trafficking alone, so they rely on law enforcement, community partners and the public for support.
Whitesell says yesterday was Human Trafficking Awareness Day and by working together as policing partners to address human trafficking across Ontario, they are making a difference.
The release also states 61 victims, ranging in age from 12 to 47 years old have been assisted through the work of the joint partners.