The Vancouver Police have arrested 47 men in 2018 following a two-month operation that cracked down on sexual exploitation in teens.
The operation was led by the VPD’s Counter Exploitation Unit, with assistance from the RCMP’s Counter Exploitation team.
Detectives would post fake advertisements on web escort listings and social media platforms, in an attempt to sell sexual services. Once contact was made with prospective consumers, detectives would portray themselves as being girls between the ages of 15 to 17.
The online work of the authorities totalled in nine separate arrest days, that took place between June and November of 2018.
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The ‘Johns’ would show up at a hotel, as arranged, for a sexual encounter. Instead of finding an underage girl, however, they’d find a team of VPD investigators.
Laurence Rankin, Deputy Chief Constable of the VPD, included in a press conference that the arrests included a school board trustee, a member of a motorcycle gang, a school teacher, and a firefighter.
Rankin refrained from making any other comments, although he explained that police are still working with crown counsel a number of charges.
“I want to make it clear that these projects were not about sexual activity between two consenting adults. The suspects were actively seeking sex with teenagers,” he adds. “Police will continue to focus their attention on those willing to prey on and exploit young boys and girls.”
Anyone with information about young people being exploited in sex-work is asked to contact the VPD’s Counter Exploitation Unit at 604-717-3426, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.