Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton has announced that the county has officially established a Human Trafficking Hotline in order to take reports of forced or coerced commercial sex and labor.
The latest move in the DA’s efforts fight human trafficking in the region, now when residents have any information, or even just suspicions, of human trafficking they can file a report or leave a tip by calling (925)-957-8658.
“The hotline is one more tool in our fight to keep our community safe from exploitation,” Becton said in a statement.
County officials say the hotline will be monitored by a senior inspector with the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, who will also coordinate a response to calls with law enforcement and advocacy partners. Officials also say the overall goal of the hotline will be to help hold offenders accountable and to connect victims of human trafficking to support services.
Combating human trafficking in Contra Costa County ahs been a priority for DA Diana Becton, who at the end of last year used federal grant funding to create the county’s Human Trafficking Task Force.
In 2016, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center reported 7,621 human trafficking cases, a majority of them from California.
Contra Costa is seen as a particular area of concern for human trafficking due to it being a natural corridor for trafficking activities due to its linkage to local metropolitan areas like Oakland and San Francisco, in addition to its accessibility to Los Angeles and Sacramento via Interstate 680, 80 and 5.
Primary strategies the task force conducts to combat trafficking include raising awareness of the issues, policy advocacy, increasing access to services, expanding those services and generally improving the criminal justice response to trafficking.