Belleville police propose changes to track human traffickers
BELLEVILLE- One Belleville police officer has proposed to make a change to the Ontario Sex Offender Registry.
Police chief Ron Gignac explained to the Belleville Police Services Board Thursday what constable Jeremey Ashley wanted to add.
“As of right now, there is no way to track people convicted of human trafficking,” said Gignac. “I commend constable Ashley for his proposal and if it goes through it could help many people in the vulnerable sector.”
By adding convicted human traffickers to the registry, they would be under the same release conditions of people who have committed other sex related crimes.
The Ontario Sex Offender Registry was created in 2001, making the province the first in Canada to have a sex offender registry.
Gignac added that if the proposal was implemented, it would provide law enforcement with a greater ability to track offenders.
“We take this issue very seriously in Belleville and we will continue to do so,” Gignac said. “If you are committing a sexual crime we will get you.”
This proposal is the first of its kind to be put forward, and experts in human trafficking have applauded the Belleville police and constable Ashley for the idea, said deputy police chief Mike Callaghan adding that he would like to see it as legislation.
“The more knowledge we have, the more we can do to combat it and prevent it from occurring in our community,” Gignac said.
The proposal has been submitted to provincial MPP Todd Smith for review and further discussions.
In the south end of the city, there are still many streets that are flooded and blocked off for public safety. Last weekend, officers began handing out tickets to cars ignoring and driving around the barriers.
Gignac said he believes people have been getting the message to not drive around the barricades.
“It’s an educational experience,” he said, “We’re not used to flooding and people want to do the right thing, but driving on a closed roadway is against the law. We don’t want to administer the tickets, but we will continue to do it in the name of public safety.”
The police chief added that officers will be on duty in the flooded areas in police cars and all terrain vehicles to make sure everything and everyone is safe.
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