Police visit airport-area hotels to raise awareness of sex trade

Police visit airport-area hotels to raise awareness of sex trade

The Winnipeg Police Service conducted a sweep of airport-area hotels to raise awareness of the signs of sexual exploitation.

The police counter-exploitation unit visited 43 hotels on Feb. 3 as part of Project Check In, Chief Danny Smyth told the Winnipeg Police Board this morning.

Police interviewed six people at risk of sexual exploitation, warned two sex-trade consumers and arrested one person on an outstanding warrant.

The point of the exercise was to raise awareness of sexual exploitation within the hospitality industry, Smyth said.

"It's the first time we've focused on awareness with the hotel industry. Of course the hotel industry, people have involved them for decades. Certainly with the nature of [sex trade website] Back Pages and the way internet exploitation takes place now, it's something we want to raise awareness around," Smyth said after the police board meeting.

"Bottom line here is people are being exploited. We wanted to make sure that it's not children or people that are very vulnerable."

Airport-area hotels are the ones selected most frequently by visiting sex-trade workers, Smyth said.