More than 400 charges laid against 107 people in child exploitation cases
December 11, 2022 By Saeed Akhtar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Dec. 11, 2022, Ontario – Twenty-seven police services of Ontario province have shared the results of their investigations into cases of child exploitation that were completed in October last month.
Named Project MAVERICK, the results were announced in a video release showcasing members of the Provincial Strategy.
During the month, the 27 policing partners conducted 277 investigations, completed 168 search warrants and seized 1,032 devices. In total, 428 charges were laid against 107 people.
During the investigations, 61 victims were identified and referred to appropriate community-based resources for assistance, while an additional 60 children were safeguarded. There are 175 ongoing investigations where additional charges may be laid.
The Provincial Strategy includes two ministries (Attorney General and Solicitor General) and 27 participating police agencies: Barrie, Belleville, Brantford, Chatham-Kent, Cornwall, Durham, Greater Sudbury, Guelph, Halton, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Niagara, North Bay, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Ottawa, Peel, Peterborough, Sarnia, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, Timmins, Toronto, Waterloo, Windsor, Woodstock and York.
Additional partners that participated in these investigations included OPP Digital Forensics, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security. The BOOST Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, the Children’s Aid Society and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection provided victims’ support and education.
Since the Provincial Strategy began in 2006, it has completed 65,564 investigations and laid 24,608 charges against 6,540 people. A total of 3,470 victims have been identified worldwide.
– Milton Reporter
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