GREENWOOD, S.C. (WSPA) – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced on Thursday the launch of a new task force to address human trafficking in parts of the Upstate.

The task force will combat human trafficking in Laurens, Newberry, Abbeville and Greenwood Counties. It is the 10th human trafficking task force to launch in the state.

Speaking from the steps of the Greenwood County Courthouse, Wilson said there is a critical need for such a force in the region.

Citing the National Human Trafficking Hotline, Wilson said last year 124 cases of human trafficking were reported to the hotline in South Carolina, affecting more than 200 victims.

“It is critical that we continue to strengthen anti-human trafficking networks across the state to increase our ability to effectively identify victims and respond accordingly,” Wilson said. “I applaud the efforts of Solicitor (David) Stumbo and Beyond Abuse for recognizing the need to coordinate regional efforts that will bring awareness to the crime.”