ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona saw nearly a 30 percent increase in human trafficking cases in 2016, report says

Feb 1, 2017, 5:59 AM | Updated: 8:11 am
(Pexels Photo)...
(Pexels Photo)
(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona had almost a 30 percent increase in reported cases of human trafficking in 2016, according to National Human Trafficking Hotline Data released by Polaris on Tuesday.

“We’re seeing pretty large increases in Arizona as well as across the board,” Jenna Novak, strategic engagement and relationship adviser with Polaris.

In Arizona, there were 151 cases were reported to the hotline in 2016, which was up from 117 the year before.

Arizona’s numbers were similar to the nationwide 35 percent increase in reported trafficking cases.

“We really attribute the increase to greater awareness of human trafficking,” she said. “Especially as more people become aware of the national hotline and its effectiveness in connecting people to a broad range of services.”

Reported sex trafficking cases increased from 97 in 2015 to 111 cases last year in Arizona, while reported labor trafficking cases doubled from 12 to 24.

“People are more and more starting to understand that labor trafficking is a large part of human trafficking,” Novak said.

The study also showed more survivors are asking for help. Calls from victims increased 40 percent from 84 cases in 2015 to 118 cases in 2016.

“Through word of mouth, survivors are able to start letting others know that we are very safe place to call,” Novak said. “And we’re able to provide whatever assistance that individual is looking for.”

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said his office has engaged in education and awareness to fight human trafficking as part of a multi-pronged approach and is also being more aggressive in prosecuting these cases as part of that plan.

“Our focus is on the pimps or the people who are profiting of this,” he said. “Not necessarily the people that have been forced into it for a lot of reasons.”

In addition to awareness and filing criminal charges, Brnovich said it’s important to go after the financial sources.

“We know where money transfers are occurring all over the world,” he said.

Brnovich said that financial information allows his office to be on the cutting edge when it comes to not only human trafficking cases, but also drug- and terrorism-related cases.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey speaks at an event touting a new universal school voucher progra...
Associated Press

Gov. Doug Ducey takes victory lap over Arizona school voucher plan

Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and backers of universal school vouchers took a victory lap Tuesday over legislation the Republican-controlled Legislature enacted in June.
18 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@DougDucey)...
KTAR.com

Here’s why a portion of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s new border wall was temporarily knocked over

Within days of announcing action to fill in border wall gaps near Yuma, a portion of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's new barrier was temporarily knocked over Monday morning. Here's the explanation from the governor's office.
18 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@MaricopaVote)...
Kevin Stone

3-vote margin triggers automatic recount in Maricopa County primary race

One race in the Maricopa County’s recent primary election was so close that it triggered an automatic recount under state law.
18 hours ago
(Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Newsmakers)...
Associated Press

Battles rage in Arizona courts over 3 voter initiatives

Proponents of three voter initiatives who each turned in hundreds of thousands of signatures last month to qualify them for the November ballot are trying to beat back legal challenges that could prevent them from going before voters.
18 hours ago
Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake said Arizona needs “to have a comprehensive plan” fo...
Kevin Stone

Kari Lake, Arizona’s GOP nominee for governor, calls water supply ‘maybe the top issue’

With Arizona facing reduced access to Colorado River water, GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake said securing the state’s supply is “maybe the top issue."
18 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)...
KTAR.com

Police arrest man after fatal stabbing over lighter in Mesa

Maricopa County Sheriffs arrested a man in Mesa Sunday after he fatally stabbed another man 50 to 70 times in an altercation.
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Arizona saw nearly a 30 percent increase in human trafficking cases in 2016, report says