Metro Toronto police officers from the anti-pornography squad are finally beginning to crack down on a vicious crime which has been plaguing the city for years.

In early October police charged five people with producing, selling and distributing massive amounts of child pornography. The arrests have led to what is generally regarded to be the largest seizure of such pornography in Canadian history.

Armed with Bill C-128, Canada’s tough new anti-child pornography law, officers with Project “P” have begun to make some headway in breaking up a vile but well organized ring of child porn producers and distributors who operate in down-town Toronto.

Police feel that Bill C-128 was long overdue. The tough new legislation, which received heavy backing from Liberal MP Tom Wappel along with Canadians for Decency, gives police the muscle they need to begin their investigations and back up any arrests with stiff sentences. Before the law came into effect little progress had been made stemming the flow of this crime. As one officer told the Toronto Star, “We just couldn’t touch them. But now, if he shows you child porn, you can put the cuffs on him right there.”

Both the police and the media peg the city’s downtown bars as likely places where the buying and selling of child porn takes place. Since many of these bars also serve a homosexual clientele police must be extra-careful not to tread on any political land mines.

John Young, 55, is wanted on seven charges, which include making, selling and possessing child pornography. Matthew McGowan is being sought on a warrant in further child-pornography related charges. The Sex Workers Alliance of Toronto called Project “P” a “witch hunt” and said the children made the films “of their own free will and for their own fun.”

Investigations are ongoing.