What is County Lines?
County Lines is the police term used for the criminal exploitation of children and young people. It is where urban gangs use children and young people to move drugs and money across the country using dedicated mobile phone ‘deal lines’. It comes with the associated harms to the young person such as sexual exploitation, violence and human trafficking.
Gangs establish a base in a particular location, typically by taking over the homes of local vulnerable adults by force or coercion in a practice referred to as ‘cuckooing’. They then target young people to become involved in selling drugs through a process of grooming. Once the young person is involved it is difficult to escape.
We know that county lines exploitation is widespread, with gangs from big cities including London, Manchester and Liverpool operating throughout England, Wales and Scotland. Gangs are known to target vulnerable children and adults.
If you have any information you can contact 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111