Regina vice cops to run more stings in bid to curb sex trade
Year-to-date charge numbers down due to lack of resources among other reasons, report says
The Regina Police Service's vice unit plans to conduct more sting operations this year, in a bid to curb the city's sex trade.
So far this year, the unit has charged eight "johns" with purchasing sexual services and seized eight vehicles, as a result of john stings, according to a report to be tabled at a police commissioners meeting Wednesday.
The increased focus on clients comes as a reaction to the federal government's Bill C-36, which took effect in December 2014. The report says the bill — aimed at protecting sex workers while reducing demand — affected the ability of the unit to "target sex trade workers."
The report goes on to say that year-to-date charges resulting from sting operations are down in 2017 due to "factors such as resources, availability of operators, scheduling and other ongoing investigations."
However, the unit plans to address these issues and more stings will be conducted throughout the remainder of the year, the report says.
Identification project finds underage sex workers
Among the other operations being conducted by the unit is "Project Outcall." The project focuses on identifying escorts who advertise online.
Since its inception in 2015, 465 escorts have been identified and police located two people who were in Canada illegally. Additionally, three escorts between the ages of 14 and 16 were identified.
The unit says its interactions with escorts are normally positive, but that the projects deliver the message that "the City of Regina does not want the sex trade business conducted in its jurisdiction."