🚨 The NJ Attorney General’s Office creates a new Human Trafficking Unit

🚨 The unit will focus on stopping criminal networks engaged in trafficking

🚨 The newly formed unit will work with other law enforcement agencies in NJ

New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin announced a new unit within the Division of Criminal Justice to focus on sexual and forced labor trafficking in the Garden State.

According to the Platkin, the Human Trafficking Unit will spearhead the fight against human trafficking through the aggressive pursuit of criminal networks that trade in people and exploit them for profit.

Platkin said human trafficking “is a despicable crime that exploits the most vulnerable members of society, subjecting them to unspeakable emotional, physical, and psychological trauma.”

NJ considered a major hub for trafficking

Every year, millions of men, women, and children in the U.S., and around the world are bought and sold for the purposes of forced labor or sexual exploitation.

Human trafficking is a $150 billion-a-year worldwide criminal enterprise but the FBI considers New Jersey to be a “hub” for this type of activity, in part because the state is positioned between several major metropolitan areas including New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, since the start of 2018 approximately two dozen human trafficking cases in New Jersey have been prosecuted by county prosecutors’ offices and the Division of Criminal Justice.

Close-up. Arrested man handcuffed
jinga80 ThinkStock

Their 'days are numbered'

Platkin said by creating this new unit, the message being sent to traffickers is “your days are numbered.”

Division of Criminal Justice deputy director Theresa Hilton, a veteran litigator with extensive experience prosecuting sex assault crimes will lead the new unit.

“I look forward to working with all levels of law enforcement, government and community stakeholders, and trafficking survivors to bring an end to the scourge of human trafficking in our state,” she said.

The new unit will work with local and county police, Homeland Security Investigations, the New Jersey State Police, community partners and advocacy groups to stop human trafficking and help survivors.

Attorney General Platkin announced the creation of the new unit during his remarks at Division of Criminal Justice annual Human Trafficking Awareness Event at the Trenton War Memorial Thursday morning.

The national Human Trafficking hotline number is 1-888-373-7888.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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