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15 charged in province-wide human trafficking investigation involving London police

London Police were involved in a province-wide human trafficking investigation that saw 15 people charged and seven others removed from exploitative situations. File/Global News

London police were involved in a province-wide human trafficking investigation that saw 15 people charged and seven others removed from exploitative situations, provincial police say.

According to police, two of the people removed were under the age of 18.

The charges come as a result of Operation Northern Spotlight, a co-ordinated, national effort to end human trafficking that includes a partnership with the RCMP and 45 police services across Ontario, the OPP said.

The arrests were made during an unspecified seven-day period. Forty-five charges, including, trafficking in persons, material benefit from sexual services, forcible confinement, and assault, were laid against 15 people, police said.

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During Operation Northern Spotlight, police meet with individuals suspected of being in exploitative situations.

Those individuals are given contacts and information for community-based support agencies and are offered both immediate and future police assistance to leave the exploitation, officers said.

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Human trafficking in Canada

A total of 317 police officers, support staff and victim services professionals engaged with 218 potential victims, as part of a joint effort coordinated by the OPP.

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