Editor’s note: The news release from the attorney general’s office initially had the incorrect percentage increase in calls. The story has been updated.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County ranked first in South Carolina for reports of human trafficking for the third straight year, according to South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson.
Horry County had the most reports of human trafficking, according to the report. The numbers are based on cases reported, so Horry County had the most reports, not necessarily the most crimes.
State Attorney General Alan Wilson released the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force annual report Monday morning.
In the report is listed what the state is doing to combat human trafficking, the number of cases reported to the National Hotline and the top counties for reported human trafficking.
Wilson said there has been an increase in children and youth victims of human trafficking.
“We saw a nearly 15% increase in the number of victims reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline,” Attorney General Wilson said in a press release. “Additionally, we are seeing a steady increase in the number of children and youth who have been identified by DSS as victims.”
Wilson also announced he will be launching a new, year-round initiative to educate youth about the dangers of human trafficking. The program is designed for middle and high schools, youth-serving agencies, faith groups and child welfare agencies.
The top 10 counties are:
- Horry County
- Richland County
- Greenville County
- Charleston County
- Spartanburg County
- Anderson County
- York County
- Dorchester County
- Greenwood County
- Florence County (tied with 5 others)
To report an incident or seek victim services, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888. The hotline is available at all hours of the day and you do not have to release your identity.
This is a developing story. Refresh for updates.