More than 100 charged in anti-prostitution blitz
Durham police have charged more than 100 people after an enforcement campaign targeting sex trade workers in Oshawa and their customers.
In total, 34 sex trade workers and 73 customers were arrested by police. Among those charged are a 68-year-old sex trade worker and a 78-year-old "John."
Investigators also charged one man with impersonating an officer after a sex trade worker reported that she was picked up by someone identifying himself as a plainclothes officer. She told investigators that the man drove her to an area near a local police station and told her he would drop all charges against her in exchange for sexual services.
"The male is not a police officer, but he was located by real police officers (Wednesday) and arrested without incident," Durham police said in a news release.
Police say they started the enforcement campaign in late March after receiving dozens of complaints from the community in central Oshawa.
At first they targeted sex trade workers who would flag down prospective customers driving around south central Oshawa. Almost all workers who were charged live in Oshawa and are receiving treatment, police said.
"Efforts will be made to provide them with social development training and counseling services in an effort to change the direction of their lives," says the news release.
Most of the so-called "Johns" that were charged by police are from Oshawa and the greater Durham region though several hailed from Toronto, Brampton, Woodbridge and the City of Kawartha Lakes.
Police say they will continue their enforcement efforts.