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Winnipeg police crack down on youth sex trade, arrest 18 men

Prince Albert police conduct initiate to crackdown on prostitution in the city.
Winnipeg police initiated a project Friday to combat the youth sex trade. Andy Cross / Getty Images

A weekend-long police crackdown on sexual exploitation of youths in Winnipeg has resulted in a number of arrests.

From Friday to Sunday, the police counter-exploitation/missing persons unit partnered with general patrol officers and community outreach workers – from StreetReach, Winnipeg Outreach Network, Resource Assistance for Youth, MaMaWi, and the Bear Clan Patrol – to combat the problem.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Police project protects high-risk youth, returns 8 missing kids

Over the weekend police arrested 18 men and seized 16 vehicles for prostitution-related offences. They also located six at-risk youths who were reported missing, four whom were arrested for outstanding warrants.

READ MORE: How a Winnipeg program reintegrates survivors of child sexual exploitation back into community

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Four stops to deter and identify sex consumers were also conducted, and 37 Crime Prevention Through Social Development (CPTSD) contacts were made to identify and help people involved in the sex trade.

“Our commitment to issues surrounding our missing youth and those at risk of sexual exploitation in the community will continue,” said police in a release.

WATCH: Behind the scenes with Winnipeg’s Counter Exploitation Unit

Click to play video 'Behind the scenes with Winnipeg’s Counter Exploitation Unit' Behind the scenes with Winnipeg’s Counter Exploitation Unit
Behind the scenes with Winnipeg’s Counter Exploitation Unit – Mar 14, 2018