Pimps cruise Moncton schools for recruits
Last updated Mar 1 2006 03:14 PM AST
RCMP believe a criminal network is recruiting young sex trade workers from New Brunswick, with pimps sending prostitutes back and forth between Moncton, Halifax and Niagara Falls.
Codiac RCMP Const. Michel Mercier says recruiters in Moncton are going to high schools to find young men and women to bring into the trade. "Recruiters are going to school or evening dances. They will try to do recruitment through the internet."
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He says pimps often offer big money for small services, and later send the girls to strip in other cities. "The dancing is only one step before prostitution is asked to the kids," he said.
"Let's say a girl who has been attracted to that trade will tell their parents, 'OK, I'm going to spend the weekend with my friends, but in the meanwhile, during that weekend, they would be brought to Halifax for dancing. They won't get these girls or boys to dance within the Moncton area since they are well known."
Kelley Steeves works with a group called PEERS, that helps prostitutes get off the street. She is concerned that more and more young women are falling victim to the sex trade. "Youth are a target because it's an actual trade off for say a drive to the mall, or the peer presssure to fit in, the American Eagle hoodies, the Phat Farm sneakers, maybe coming from a disadvantaged economic family situation."
Mercier says the criminals work underground, and police will have to use covert tactics to crack the networks.