London (AFP) - The numbers of people trafficked into Britain and Northern Ireland are likely to rise again in 2014 after a leap of almost 50 percent last year, police said on Wednesday.
Almost 50 possible victims are found each week, figures from the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.
In the first three months of 2014, 556 possible trafficking victims were discovered by police, compared to 407 in the same period last year
This means the year's total is on course to be 30 percent higher than 2013, which was already 47 percent higher than the year before.
The discovery of 34 Afghan Sikhs and one dead man in a shipping container, and of 15 migrants in a truck on a motorway, has brought the issues of trafficking into light in recent days.
Nick Alston, the police and crime commissioner for Essex, where the Sikhs were discovered, said the case brought the light the "evil of the abuse and exploitation of vulnerable people".