PELHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The city of Pelham is working to bring more awareness to human trafficking by making January Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
Law enforcement say a lot of times they feel like people try to turn a blind eye to human trafficking, but their goal is to educate people in their city so that they know that it is prevalent and something that you need to be on the lookout.
This crime is the second largest criminal industry in the world today, second only to the illegal drug trade.
Pelham police that investigate these types of crimes say it happens in every community, big or small. Pelham says they hope to reach girls 12-17 years old before they are influenced to enter into human trafficking.
They want people to be vigilant when they travel on I-65 and look for a group of females traveling with one male. Investigators say traffickers are mostly seen traveling in rental cars. They say that often times, the victims often cannot make decisions themselves, don’t have an ID, and don’t have a means of payment. They have found that runaways and foster children are at risk.
Sgt. Brad Jordan is with the Pelham Police Department and investigates these crimes and he says awareness and knowledge for the public are one of our biggest issues.
Law enforcement at the local and state level have worked with hotels, truck stops, gas stations, hospitals, and other businesses to be on the lookout, but now they hope to also inform the rest of the community.
If you see anything that you think is suspicious at all, you should call police and report it.