Before we dive into the details of creating a report for suspected human trafficking, we need to stress one crucial point: never attempt to confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a potential victim to your suspicions. Doing so could be dangerous for you and even more dangerous for the victim. If you want to learn more about why this is the case, consider taking our Human Trafficking 101 course.
The best way to help your organization or law enforcement investigate human trafficking is by providing them with detailed and accurate information through a well-structured report. You will need to include the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, and WHY. In this post, we will break down what you should include in each of these parts of your report to best assist the investigation into potential human trafficking.
The first step in creating a comprehensive report is to describe the individuals involved. Provide detailed descriptions of those you suspect may be connected to human trafficking. This includes their physical appearance, clothing, age, gender, and any distinctive features. Additionally, note how many people are involved and what behaviors you have witnessed. Be as specific as possible. If you found information in the human trafficking database, explain what raised your suspicions about the individual you’re reporting.
Outline what signs, apart from your descriptions, made you suspicious. Were there any specific actions or events that convinced you creating a report was necessary? If you believe you witnessed a victim or a trafficker, describe precisely what they were doing when you saw them. This could include behaviors such as controlling or coercing someone, unusual working conditions, or signs of exploitation. Try to document relevant details like license plate number and car make.
Provide a timeline of either your relationship with the individual you believe matches the information in the human trafficking database or the specific date and time you witnessed human trafficking activity. Include any relevant details about the duration of your observations.
Provide addresses and specific locations where you witnessed suspicious activity. If possible, take notes immediately to ensure you remember precise details. If you are reporting a match from HT Safeguard, explain where you met or interacted with the individual to obtain the information you searched. Specificity is crucial in helping investigators locate and address potential human trafficking situations.
Conclude your report by explaining why you are reporting this information. Provide any additional details you believe may be beneficial for law enforcement or organizations investigating the case. Your insight can help them understand the context and urgency of the situation.
Creating a well-structured police report for suspected human trafficking is a vital step in ensuring the safety and well-being of potential victims. By providing detailed information about WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and WHY, you enable investigators to initiate quick and efficient investigations. Remember not to confront suspects directly or alert victims to your suspicions; leave that to the professionals. Thank you for your commitment to keeping our communities safe from human trafficking. Your actions can make a significant difference in combating this serious crime.