We need your help: How to recognize signs of human trafficking

September 24, 2019, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia . . . Police in Nova Scotia want you to recognize the signs that a person may be a victim of human trafficking. The RCMP and municipal police agencies in the province are reaching out to the public to let them know some of the signs of this type of crime and ensure victims know we are here and are ready to help.

A tip line has been established for people to call to get help or information: 902-447-2425. The tip line is monitored 24/7 by a police officer who can get victims to safety.

Police are asking parents and guardians to trust their instincts about their children’s behaviour. If your loved one’s story does not match what you are seeing, or if it just doesn’t make sense, your child may be a victim of human trafficking. It can happen to anyone and the “game” is difficult for victims to escape. They need you to advocate for them.

Signs of human trafficking include:

  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Frequent trips to other communities to ‘party’
  • Moving addresses frequently, often staying in hotels
  • Having to communicate with someone at all times about what they are doing and where they are. Victims may seem to always be on their cell phones.
  • Lack of identification
  • Lacking personal possessions and financial documents
  • Unexplained bruises or injuries
  • Branding (tattoos) indicating ownership by trafficker. Often this will be the trafficker’s initials or logo.
  • Unexplained gifts or purchases beyond their financial means, such as designer shoes or hand bags
  • No proof of a legitimate job, but has lots of new, expensive items
  • New clothing and/or lingerie

Police in Nova Scotia want to encourage anyone who is concerned that someone could be a victim of human trafficking to report it by calling or texting the tip line at 902-447-2425. You can also contact police in your local area for more information. Should you wish to remain anonymous, call Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submit a secure web tip at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca, or use the P3 Tips App.