Monday, August 25, 2008
Sex assaults unconfirmed
VANCOUVER: No evidence found of attacks in Downtown Eastside
Vancouver police have so far been unable to substantiate reports of serial attacks on Downtown Eastside sex-trade workers.
Police spokeswoman Const. Jana McGuinness said the investigation began Aug. 15 when police received reports from sex-trade workers of assaults.
"We launched a major investigation because we want to make sure that anything like that is addressed immediately," McGuinness said yesterday.
"Our major-crime squad took over the investigation and have been looking into any of the reports that have surfaced around this."
The investigators conducted interviews with the workers and others who came forward with information, McGuinness said, but so far police "have not been able to substantiate any of the reports that have come in to us."
Information led police to addresses outside of Vancouver and information is being shared with other police agencies, she said.
The file remains open and police are continuing to investigate the reported assaults.
McGuinness wouldn’t elaborate on the number or nature of the assaults.
"We are diligently continuing the investigation and looking into any information that comes to light and inter viewing anyone that comes forward with reports of assaults," she said.
"It will be an open investigation for some time."Despite the lack of evidence uncovered so far, McGuinness said it's good news that sex-trade workers are coming forward with information for police.
"In the sex trade community, the workers face so many challenges and a lot of violence and the fact that we are getting this information and we're able to investigate it is really a success," she said.
"We want to keep those doors open and keep that information coming to us. We care about what's happening in that community."
Leslie Remund, associate director of RainCity Housing and Support Society, which provides services to sex-trade workers, said she is aware of the investigation and has kept the community informed through bulletins.
"We hear these kind of things all the time, so any time that we are seriously concerned we put an alert out," Remund said.
Created: August 25, 2008
Last modified: June 20, 2009
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