KAWARTHA LAKES-On Tuesday, November 2, 2021, the Peterborough Police Services Board awarded two commendations in connection with Project Terrain.
Commendations were presented to Detective Constable Mark MacDonell and Detective Constable Brian Urquhart by Board Chair Bob Hall.
Project Terrain was initiated in January 2021 after DC MacDonell and Urquhart of the Peterborough Police Service Human Trafficking Unit conducted a “knock and talk” intervention with an advertised female sex worker in the City of Peterborough to ensure her safety. During the conversation, evidence came to light that led the officers to believe the female was the victim of human trafficking and started a larger investigation that ultimately identified multiple victims, and suspects, associated with a sophisticated organized crime ring involved in the trafficking of Chinese females across Canada.
A province-wide takedown in June 2021 involved input from a number of law enforcement agencies across Ontario, including Canada Border Services Agency, York Regional Police Service, Durham Regional Police Service, Waterloo Regional Police Service, and the Ontario Provincial Police.
As a result, officers:
- Discovered and identified 4 victims of human trafficking, and were able to make supporting referrals to various agencies to each
- Arrested 3 accused persons, and laid numerous human trafficking-related charges
- Seized more than $170,000.00 worth of property obtained by crime, including currency.
“The ability to successfully investigate an organized crime ring of this magnitude and effectively execute a province wide takedown, while supporting victims of human trafficking, is very commendable,” stated Bob Hall, Chair of the Peterborough Police Services Board.