Manitoba

Winnipeg's at-risk youth targeted in outreach sweep

A joint project targeting Winnipeg youth at high risk of being sexually exploited swept through 26 addresses in the city this week.
A joint project targeting Winnipeg youth at high risk of being sexually exploited swept through 26 addresses in the city this week. 1:06

A joint project targeting Winnipeg youth at high risk of being sexually exploited swept through 26 addresses in the city this week.

"It's not all about making arrests," said Const. Jason Michalyshen. "It's about making contact with these individuals to make sure they are not being exploited first and foremost, making sure that human trafficking is not taking place."

Project Return, conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, resulted in:

  • 2 males arrested for purchasing sexual services.
  • 1 vehicle seized under the prostitution-human trafficking offence.
  • 2 females identified as escorts. Once determined not to be victims of human trafficking or under aged, they were offered support services including health care and emotional supports.
  • 26 addresses being checked for missing youth.
  • 6 at-risk youth being located, including one missing from rural Manitoba. Each was transported to a place of safety.
  • 1 missing youth located and arrested on an outstanding warrant.

Project Return was a joint project involving the Winnipeg Police Service’s counter exploitation unit, the missing persons unit, and outreach workers from StreetReach Winnipeg.

StreetReach is comprised of numerous organizations including the Manitoba child protection branch, All Nations Coordinated Response Network, MaryMound Inc., Mamawi and MARTR (Manitoba Association for Residential Treatment Resource).