COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – For the second year in a row, Horry County was No. 1 in the state for reports of human trafficking.
This is according to the South Carolina Attorney General’s 2020 Human Trafficking Task Force report, which was released Monday.
In addition to Horry County, Charleston, Greenville, Richland, and Anderson counties ranked in the top five for human trafficking reports in S.C.
“Being in the top five doesn’t necessarily mean those counties have the most human trafficking, Attorney General Wilson says. Counties with active regional human trafficking task forces have raised awareness about the crime and how to report it, so being one of the top counties could be because it’s reported more, not because it’s happening there more,” a press release stated.
Lt. Sherri Smith with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office says the fact that Horry County topped the list can actually be viewed as a positive thing because it means more people are reporting cases, which helps victims get the help they need.
“Horry County topping as No. 1 in the state again is a positive thing,” Smith said. “That means our task force is working. That means our citizens are doing exactly what we ask them to do. If they see something, say something. As you know, that means we have the most reported calls into the National Human Trafficking Hotline.”
According to the state attorney general’s office, there were 139 cases of human trafficking reported in the annual report. Wilson also reported 179 victim cases through the human trafficking hotline.
Wilson says in 2021, the attorney general’s office will work on getting a Pee Dee regional task force for human trafficking established.
For more information, check out the full report.