Human trafficking arrests rise in Orange County

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Updated: 8/07/2014 12:17 pm

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A report finds the number of people arrested in Orange County on suspicion of crimes related to human trafficking more than doubled from 2011 to 2013.

The Los Angeles Times reports the figures released Wednesday show there were 24 such arrests in 2011, 37 in 2012 and 52 in 2013. The report also finds that on average, eight new human trafficking victims were identified every month.

Lita Mercado with the county's Community Service Programs attributed the boost to officers keeping a more vigilant eye for victims of trafficking.

The release of the report coincides with the launch of a Transportation Authority public-awareness campaign. It includes displays inside buses and encourages riders to report possible victims.

The agency will also train operators on how to spot and report human-trafficking crimes.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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