Police focus on sex trade in advance of Grand Prix
Montreal police forces are teaming up to launch a program aimed at preventing sexual exploitation services in the region.
They note that although we tend to highlight the problem on the eve of big summer events and festivals, it is a largely domestic problem.
Most women and girls are recruited into the sex trade from Montreal, most clients are from Quebec and a big problem is the export of women from Montreal to go work in other places across Canada.
The Grand Prix and other summer events may attract a lot of attention, but authorities say they are only a small part of the issue.
"We don't want to stigmatize one event more than another. I think the purpose is really to make sure that we are making people aware of certain indicators and certain behaviours that are indicative of sexual exploitation," said Cmdr. Michel Bourque.
The RADAR program will work with taxi drivers, hotel workers, and others to inform the public about human trafficking, how to handle certain situations, and how to approach law enforcement.
The Montreal Police Service (SPVM), Longueuil Metropolitan Police Service (SPAL), and Laval Police Service are all part of the RADAR initiative.
Their partners include the Association for Greater Montreal Hotels, Montreal Taxi Bureau, Info-Crime Montreal, Victims Assistance Centres, and Sun Youth.
It was built off a similar, year-long pilot program between police and the hospitality industry.