January 10, 2017
Nova Scotia police asking community industries to “Say Something if you See Something”
Police officers in Nova Scotia are equipping their communities with tools to help identify potential victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
It’s part of the “Say Something if you See Something” education and awareness campaign, aimed at employees in the hospitality and transportation industries. Human trafficking and sexual exploitation takes place in all kinds of properties, from budget motels to luxury hotels and resorts, and air and ground transportation is often used to carry out these criminal acts. For those reasons, employees in these industries can play a positive role in preventing these offences, by reporting their concerns to police.
Say Something if you See Something was originally launched in the United Kingdom and versions of the campaign have since been rolled out in communities in Canada and the United States. It was first introduced in Nova Scotia last February, through Halifax District RCMP and Halifax Regional Police – Partners in Policing. Now, the Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police have endorsed the campaign, to bring the training and materials to all police agencies and communities across Nova Scotia.
“Sexual exploitation and human trafficking is a very serious, dangerous issue and it’s absolutely happening right here in our own communities in Nova Scotia, says Chief Peter McIsaac, President of the Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police Association. “As police officers, we take the safety and security of those involved in the sex trade very seriously, and we are committed to addressing these crimes. But, we also know it’s about far more than police enforcement; we need to look at this from a variety of perspectives, and that’s why it’s so important to engage community partners and stakeholders through an education and awareness campaign like this one.”
Today, approximately 20 officers are attending the first provincial training session in Cape Breton. Sessions will continue throughout the province over the next 2 months, training officers on how to conduct Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation investigations, as well as working with victims of these crimes. And, officers will learn how to work with stakeholders and partners to collaboratively identify potential victims, equipped with information and resources they can deliver within their own police agencies and communities. Resource kits for local businesses include posters advising people that human trafficking/sexual exploitation is a crime, as well as brochures that outline what employees should look out for and how they should respond if they believe human trafficking/sexual exploitation is occurring at their workplace.
By executing the Say Something if you See Something campaign across Nova Scotia, police are working to increasing awareness about these important issues and hope
ultimately to help victims get out of situations in which they haven’t willingly put themselves.
Note to media: Constable Tammy Lobb of the Halifax District RCMP Integrated Vice Unit, and facilitator of the training sessions will be available at the conclusion of today’s session (11:30 AM), should you be interested in further information on the Say Something if you See Something campaign in Nova Scotia. Please make arrangements through Desiree Vassallo, Communications/PR Advisor for the Cape Breton Regional Police Service at 902-574-2442
Desiree Vassallo Communications / Public Relations Cape Breton Regional Police Service