Brandon Police Arrest 21 Men in Sexual Exploitation Investigation

Brandon Police Arrest 21 Men in Sexual Exploitation Investigation

Brandon police arrested 21 men in connection with a sexual exploitation investigation.

In a news release Tuesday, Brandon police said a joint investigation with the RCMP and Winnipeg police began in the first week of June, looking into street-level and online sexual exploitation.

The investigation became known as Project Lockdown.

Over two days, police arrested 21 men accused of obtaining sexual services in exchange for consideration or communicating for that purpose.

Police said the arrests occurred in downtown Brandon and at hotels in the city.

Vehicles were also seized in nine of the arrests.

All of the arrested men were released on bail. The charges have not been proven in court.

“It’s not a surprise”

Janet Campbell, president and CEO of the Joy Smith Foundation, said these are the kinds of stories her office hears every day.

“This is a very common occurrence and is happening in communities throughout our area,” Campbell said. “It’s wonderful to see the level of collaboration between three agencies executing a project like this. I think that’s really important, so I commend them for their work. But unfortunately, this is something we see in our office every day. So I’m not surprised”.

The foundation focuses on human trafficking and supporting survivors, Campbell said. He said this is a problem that has been getting worse over time and has only gotten worse with the ability to go online.

While support from law enforcement and levels of government is needed, Campbell said all community stakeholders must be involved.

“Members of the community at large need to pay attention to this issue. They need to become aware and educated about what this looks like… it’s something that is a community-based issue, and it really needs community involvement to be able to create a impact. “.