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FBI: Human Trafficking Cases Rose in 2018 to Nearly 1,400

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The number of reported human trafficking offenses increased in 2018, according to data released on Sept. 30 as part of the FBI’s annual “Crime in the U.S.” report.

There were 1,392 reported offenses in 2018, up from 1,220 in 2017 and 1,196 in 2016, continuing a multiyear trend of increases.

Of the 2018 offenses, 1,242 were classified as commercial sex acts, 149 as involuntary servitude, and one case in Puerto Rico was not categorized.

Less than half (548) of the reported offenses were cleared in 2018.

“An offense is cleared by arrest, or solved for crime reporting purposes, when at least one person is (1) arrested, (2) charged with the commission of the offense and (3) turned over to the court for prosecution,” the report said.

An offense is also marked as cleared if the offender dies, is prosecuted by a state or local authority or an extradition or prosecution is denied.

Texas had the highest number of reported trafficking offenses last year (312), followed by Nevada (212), Minnesota (123) and Florida (107).

No other state or territory had more than 100 reported offenses, and 11 states (Alabama, California, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia) reported no trafficking offenses to the FBI.

“Mississippi and portions of Ohio have no UCR [Uniform Crime Reporting] state program to manage the collection of UCR data within the state,” the report said.

The FBI uses the national UCR system for human trafficking data, which serves as the basis for the statistics compiled in its annual report.

Law enforcement officials submit data into the UCR in order to create a database reflecting crime rates and types nationwide.

“The data in the tables included in this report reflect the offenses and arrests recorded by state and local law enforcement agencies … that currently have the ability to report the data to the national UCR Program,” the report noted. “As such, they should not be interpreted as a definitive statement of the level or characteristics of human trafficking as a whole.”

The full “2018 Crime in the U.S.” report is available here. The human trafficking data is available here.