The Canadian Press
A police force in southwestern Ontario says it will start releasing the names of those charged with buying sex in a bid to curb human trafficking.
The announcement came at a meeting of the Police Services Board in London, Ont. following a presentation outlining why the city is considered a hub for the sexual exploitation of women.
Detectives told board members that London’s position on Highway 401 between major Canadian and American cities, as well as its proximity to many hotels, make it a popular stop for would-be traffickers.
The head of the force’s human trafficking unit said a recent sting operation in which the force placed a fake ad on a site frequently used by those selling sex garnered 9,000 views in a single week.
London Police Chief John Pare said the force has decided to start naming alleged “johns” publicly as a deterrent measure.
He noted names will be shared in all cases except those covered by a publication ban or situations in which revealing the person’s name could identify the victim.
“This is our way to affect the demand and enhance public safety for these victims of human trafficking,” Pare told the board.
“This is just a warning . . . make better choices in life,” he added.
“This is not a choice that you should be doing and purchasing sex and putting these victims at the risk that they are facing.”