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This is the first story in Kate's series, Knock at the Door. A woman from Cuba is in a London hotel room, police are told, and is being sold for sex by a man who has access to cocaine and a handgun. Inside the human trafficking squad room at police headquarters, there are printed-out pictures posted on the wall of possible pimps and possible victims.

There are also photos from surveillance operations as well as social media profiles. The images will help police in their work today. The officers have come in for a shift that starts at 1 p. Within 20 minutes, they're on their way to one of a dozen hotels just off Hwy. CBC News is along for the ride, a single shift during Project Solstice, an investigation that involves the human trafficking unit's three officers, as well as six others pulled in from other sections for the four-week project. The officers divide into teams, some setting up surveillance in the parking lot of the hotel.

They're watching for Johns — and for pimps. And, this time, they're on high alert because of the information about a handgun and drugs. Officers set up inside the hotel, making sure doors are covered. One checks a website popular with sex workers and with those buying sex, to see if any raise flags. A text is sent to the cell phone appearing on the ad for the Cuban woman, asking to meet.

That's the problem with victims of human trafficking -- one day, they're in Toronto, the next in London, or Windsor, Woodstock or Kingston. The victims themselves -- and they are, for the most part, women and girls -- often don't know what city they're in. When a client walks in, she doesn't know what he's paid for — nor what she has, supposedly, agreed to do.

If she's a victim of human trafficking, the woman or girl stays in the hotel room, often without a phone. A pimp arranges with the John the terms -- what sex acts she will perform, and how much she will make. The entire interaction takes about 30 minutes, and then a new man comes to the hotel room. You don't have to drive up and down the street looking for a girl on a shady street corner. Now, you have a menu of people," Det. Mike Hay says as he drives us in an unmarked minivan towards the concentration of hotels along Wellington Road right off Hwy.

You put on a hoodie, knock on a door, have that happen and leave. The anonymity of it all and the ease with which it can happen has made it much more easily accessible. London's human trafficking unit was formed in early , and uses vice probes as a way to reach out to women they think might need help. In , the first full year of operation, the unit helped rescue 15 women and girls from the sex trade. The youngest was To find them, officers pore over advertisements posted on popular websites advertising sex work, looking for s of trafficking -- women who move around frequently, look very young, are branded in some way, such as a tattoo, or who have few restrictions about the sex work they offer.

The online offer "menu options" that the women are willing to provide. Independent sex workers usually have more restrictions, Hay says, because they determine themselves what they are and are not willing to do. It's obvious she's not answering her own texts, because officers are sent long replies while she's in the hotel room with clients.

Officers know this because they've set up in a room across the hallway to observe the comings and goings through the door peep hole. They don't always do that, but tonight it was possible, and the report of a handgun makes things even more tense. Hay works two cell phones and a police radio, communicating with his team, determining who should go where.

He also gets a report of an year-old who is being groomed into the trade, and officers try to find her ad too. When it's the officers turn to see the Cuban woman, one knocks and another immediately identifies herself as an officer when the door is opened.

They sweep the room for a pimp hiding in a bathroom or closet. Using Google Translate, the officers determine the woman from Cuba isn't being trafficked. She's here because her husband wouldn't give her money for their nine-year-old child. Her plan is to go back to Cuba. She took our phone s, she was receptive. This is a new realm of policing in London," says Hay. Officers have also had sex workers they've spoken to before call them to raise concerns about girls or women who they think are being trafficked.

I have no issue if someone is willingly working in the sex trade. Officers also go over safety planning with sex workers — what to do in case of sexual assault or robbery, for example. The reality is, this is a dangerous trade. We want the sex trade to be a safer place. Officers aren't able to find the ad for the year-old who might be being groomed for the trade.

They'll keep looking. Two more hotels near the , and two more women the officers suspect are being trafficked, turn out to be independent workers. If they come to the end of their rope, maybe they'll trust that police officer," Hay says. You can her at kate. CBC News was along for the ride. Social Sharing.

The anonymous phone call prompts urgency. Eight London officers put on their body armour and strap on their police weapons. LISTEN: Undercover with London's human trafficking unit Inside the human trafficking squad room at police headquarters, there are printed-out pictures posted on the wall of possible pimps and possible victims. Project Solstice The officers have come in for a shift that starts at 1 p. Human trafficking 'huge business' in London London fight against sex trafficking gets funding boost CBC News is along for the ride, a single shift during Project Solstice, an investigation that involves the human trafficking unit's three officers, as well as six others pulled in from other sections for the four-week project.

You try to have a positive conversation with that person, be clear that you're not making any judgments, we don't think what you're doing is wrong, we're here if you need any help. Related Stories How an Elgin County farm is helping teenage victims of human trafficking Police, hospital team up to help sex trafficking survivors Human trafficking in London: Leann's story.

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'I just want my daughter back': Sex trafficking victims often caught in vicious cycle trying to escape