In 2020, The Winnipeg Police Service received a total of 4971 missing person reports. On average, 566 reports of missing persons are received monthly. On Friday, September 18, 2020, there were a total of 26 youths (aged 18 & under) outstanding as reported missing. The Winnipeg Police Service's Counter Exploitation/ Missing Person's Unit and General Patrol Members, in partnership with Outreach Workers from the Community in Winnipeg such as StreetReach, Winnipeg Outreach Network (WON) Ndinawe, Mama Wi Chi Itata, Resource Assistance for Youth (RAY) and the Salvation Army. Project Return was initiated on Friday, September 18, 2020, to protect youth within our city who are at a high risk of being sexually exploited and by locating those who were reported missing. The results of this Project Return are:
11 missing at-risk youths and two missing adults were located and transported to a place of safety
44 locations known to be frequented by high risk missing youths were checked
15 Crime Prevention through Social Development (CPTSD) contacts were made to identify and assist those involved in sexual exploitation
57 Outreach Approaches conducted to determine if any assistance was required
45 individuals were provided with snack packs and harm reduction kits
Two individuals arrested for outstanding Warrants
Eight males ranging in age from 26-56 years old were arrested for Obtaining Sexual Services for Consideration. Seven vehicles were seized under the Highway Traffic Act for Prostitution offences.
Our commitment to issues surrounding our missing youth and those at risk of sexual exploitation in the community will continue.