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35 arrested in downtown prostitution operation

A four day investigation into sex trade activities downtown Grande Prairie has led to the arrest of 35 people. RCMP hit the streets last week, and brought 34 men and one woman into custody.

They range in age from 21 to 74 years old and have all been charged with obtaining sexual services for consideration. RCMP Superintendent Don McKenna says they were responding to community concerns, noting that workers in the sex trade industry are a vulnerable sector of society.

“Many sex workers suffer from addiction, mental health issues, and were victimized prior to entering the sex trade and are exploited,” he explains. “Police will continue to work with partners such as the PACE Sexual Assault Centre that offers a First Time Offender Prostitution Awareness Program, to protect this vulnerable population.”

Residents are encouraged to report any suspicious people, vehicles and activities in their neighbourhoods to RCMP or Crime Stoppers. Grande Prairie also has a confidential Report-A-John line at 780-830-7077.

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