Project Firebird leads to arrest of 10 for child luring in Pickering, Ajax and around Durham

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Published November 3, 2022 at 11:03 am

A six-month investigation by Durham Police’s Human Trafficking Unit into people trying to buy sex with children resulted in 10 arrests and 32 criminal charges.

Project Firebird is an on-going initiative focused on those who were attempting to purchase sex with minors, as well as providing education and support to victims or potential victims of these crimes.

From April to September 2022, investigators arrested 10 people, charging them with crimes such as obtaining sexual services from a person under 18, luring a child for the purpose of obtaining sexual services and invitation to sexual touching under 16.

One noteworthy crime involved a suspect who was talking with an undercover officer over a span of five months. The suspect then arranged a meet in Durham Region to buy sexual services and travelled four hours across the province for the meeting, only to be scooped by police and arrested.

Durham Police is appealing to any person who may be involved in a similar situation or may know someone involved to come forward.

A support network for survivors of human trafficking has been established in Durham.  These services can be accessed via www.stopht.com. Parents and caregivers are also encouraged to use the resources found on the website to have open discussions with the kids in their lives about recognizing the signs of human trafficking.

Anyone with any new information about this incident or other incidents, please contact the Detective Constable Eric Heron of the DRPS Human Trafficking Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5600.

Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters may be eligible for a $2000 cash reward.

 

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