Investigative Services : Crime Stoppers | Criminal Intelligence Section | Domestic Violence & Criminal Harassment Unit | Gang and Drug Units | Homicide Unit | Missing Persons Unit | Robbery / Assault / Arson Unit| | Sex Crimes Unit
COUNTER EXPLOITATION UNIT (FORMERLY KNOWN AS VICE UNIT)
The Vancouver Police Department's Counter Exploitation Unit is responsible for investigations into prostitution related offences, pornography, and other forms of sexual exploitation.
Due to the "moral" nature of these offences, many of the investigations pursued by this Unit encompass issues and controversy that are principal concerns in society today.
Pornography, and child prostitution are subjects of debate in arenas that range from the media to the household kitchen. The Unit is often asked to respond to specific community problems or personal complaints, that reflect these same topics of debate. Successful conclusions and solutions to these cases frequently require creative, modern approaches, and sensitive investigations.
Knowledge and prevention are among the most important weapons that the community has in the fight against prostitution. The Counter Exploitation Unit recognizes the role that the community plays, and the need to provide education where needed. The Unit has addressed this facet of their work wherever possible. It provides speakers and lectures on request, to schools, parents, and other professionals. Prevention and education can be the key, particularly when it comes to young people who might be recruited into the sex trade.
The Unit has become an authority in the field of investigating subjects living off the avails of prostitution. The Unit especially enjoys a reputation for success in cases involving the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents. The personal side of these cases is a huge dimension in gaining a successful conclusion to these matters.
Investigators rely heavily on the cooperation of witnesses, who typically are reluctant to trust or take anyone into their confidence. They work closely with victims, parents, careworkers and other professionals in seeking prosecution for pimps, and in assisting young people escape from the sex trade. Careful management and tracking of witnesses, and detailed trial preparation has produced an impressive record of convictions and sentences for this unit.
The Counter Exploitation Unit often supervises projects aimed at neighbourhood prostitution complaints. These projects will often target both pimps and customers, in locations where the impact of the sex trade has become unacceptable. Valuable intelligence, and the identification and removal of children from the street scene are important benefits of these projects.