Ten tips for law enforcement to decrease human trafficking

William Spruce, President of Disrupt Human Trafficking, offers advice in the prevention of human trafficking. Photo: iStockPhoto

GRAPEVINE, TX, October 30, 2013 — The United States is wrought with an epidemic of human trafficking — a crime that often involves the victimization of women and children. Too many law enforcement agencies are sitting on the sidelines as this type of criminal activity flourishes within their own backyards. Law enforcement uses many techniques in the prevention and reduction of crimes in their areas; these same techniques can be applied to prevent and reduce human trafficking.

Following are tips for law enforcement to efficiently detect, prevent, and deter human trafficking:


SEE RELATED: Law enforcement training: The missing service for victims of human trafficking


  1. Train personnel on the indicators of human trafficking and on effective interviewing of potential victims who, in most cases, do not self-identify.
  2. Educate the public about human trafficking and concentrate on the vulnerable populations of the community.   
  3. Develop government and non-government partnerships to achieve a unified enforcement action against human trafficking while providing aftercare for the victims.
  4. Collect information and intelligence to identify the criminal networks, traffickers, persons of interest, locations, and financial aspects involved in the illegal trafficking operations. Investigate those people and locations linked to human trafficking and explore prosecution for any subsequent crime.
  5. Target high risk areas for human trafficking to better utilize limited resources while tracking and assessing activity and enforcing laws. High risk areas include brothels, strip clubs, escort services, and massage parlors.
  6. Use proactive enforcement during the peak hours in and around locations linked to human trafficking.
  7. Develop informants from individuals who are arrested and use the information to further the investigation into trafficking networks.
  8. Explore the use of modern technology and science to aid in the investigation, evidence collection, and prosecution efforts.  
  9. Seize assets to hinder and disrupt individuals and organizations involved in human trafficking.
  10. Prosecute the defendants and publicize success stories.

William Spruce is the President of Disrupt Human Trafficking: www.DisruptHT.org.


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William Spruce

William Spruce is the President of Disrupt Human Trafficking a non-profit organization assisting and training law enforcement in investigating the crime of human trafficking. He spent 21 years serving the Department of Justice (ATF) with his final assignment as Deputy Director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center at the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia where he had oversight of operations involving intelligence, forensic evidence recovery, technical exploitation, and domestic/international terrorism investigations.  Mr. Spruce is a former Dallas Police Officer and proudly served his country in the US Marine Corps

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