Sunday, February 25, 2024

OPP Raising Human Trafficking Awareness

Human Trafficking is a crime that affects communities across Canada. Did you know that this includes Grey and Bruce Counties?

The South Bruce Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), the Grey-Bruce OPP and the Anti-Human Trafficking Committee are partnering with the Municipality of Kincardine and the Municipality of Grey Highlands to raise awareness on this crime that is so devastating for the victims.

Motorists will see “It Could Happen To Me” “#KnowHumanTrafficking” awareness signs posted in the Municipality of Kincardine and the Municipality of Grey Highlands.

Stats:

  • 2/3 of all Canadian reported human trafficking cases occur in Ontario
  • 90% of victims are female
  • Average victim age is 17
  • $280,000 per year for each victim forced into prostitution.

A sex trafficker will control every aspect of the trafficked person’s life: when they eat, when they sleep, what they wear, who they talk to.

The person being trafficked and those they encounter may not understand that a crime is taking place.

Indicators of sexual exploitation:

  • Tattoos or branding by a trafficker to show ownership
  • Substance abuse disorder as a method of control
  • Having multiple cellphones, or a cellphone with tracking or screen mirroring applications installed
  • Scars or injuries from abuse
  • Someone else speaks for the trafficked person
  • No control over their money
  • Having new jewellery, clothing, or other expensive items they cannot afford to buy.

Human trafficking is NOT just a big city issue, it is here in rural Ontario. A victim of human trafficking will not see any escape from ‘the game’. They are dependent upon us to help; here are some signs that a person is being trafficked:

  • Fearful, anxious, nervous of police
  • Refusing to provide any information or provides false information
  • Cannot tell you where they live, not even an address
  • Cannot identify their location or their upcoming destination
  • Travelling with limited or no baggage
  • Dressed inappropriately for the weather or situation
  • Not in possession of money or their identification
  • Presence of sex products such as toys, lubricants, condoms
  • Shows signs of abuse, malnourished, sleep deprived
  • Signs of frequent travel: motel receipts/key cards, fast food wrappers, gas receipts, rental car information.

Factors specific to Grey-Bruce:

  • Geographic isolation
  • Tourism – particularly port towns, Tobermory, Owen Sound, Port Elgin, Kincardine
  • Direct line into and out of the city, Hwy 21, Hwy 6, Hwy 10, County Road 86, County Road 4

The South Bruce OPP and the Grey-Bruce OPP are requesting anyone with information to call 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a secure web-tip at www.cstip.ca, where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.

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