County lines is a form of criminal exploitation. It is when criminals befriend children, either online of offline, and then manipulate them into drug dealing. The 'lines' refer to mobile phones that are used to control a young person who is delivering drugs, often to towns outside their home county.
Young people aged 14-17 are most likely to be targeted by criminal groups but there are reports of seven year olds being groomed into county lines.
Just because county lines may not get the coverage of other societal issues, it doesn’t mean it’s a small problem. In fact, most police forces across the country have reported county lines activity in their area. It’s not just a ‘big city’ problem’. County lines is far reaching, with many smaller towns being affected.
It doesn’t matter where you’re from or your social background, children from any community can be groomed into county lines.
County Lines can happen anywhere!
Please find some information videos below and links to external websites offering advice and information.
Fearless (part of Crimestoppers) - What is County Lines?The Children's Society - Look Closer CampaignNational Crime Agency - County Lines InformationNSPCC - Protecting Children from County LinesSafeguarding Network - County LinesKent Police - County Lines Information