What is County Lines?

What is County Lines?

'County Lines' is a form of criminal exploitation of children and young people with a devastating effect on each individual’s life, their families and their community.

County lines crime relates to the supply of Class A drugs, primarily crack cocaine and heroin, from urban cities to market towns, coastal areas and rural locations by young people, using a mobile phone line.

Children as young as seven-years-old are groomed and coerced into County Lines activity, trafficking drugs for criminal gangs around the country.

Our partners at The Children's Society have explained the term 'County Lines' in this video

 

Children and young people who take part are often seen as criminals rather than victims. Gangs deliberately target vulnerable groups promising a better lifestyle, money, food and/or drugs in return for their co-operation and commitment. Young people often see gang members as the only people that care for them and support them.

The reality is that the gangs will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons. Some children have been stabbed and killed by rival gangs or dealers.

 

Reframe The Blame

One of the best ways to help is to recognise the child or the young person as a victim of trafficking and exploitation rather than solely looking at the actions and criminal activity.

Showing care and support by being aware of the warning signs and being familiar with the multiple stages of exploitation is an important part of safeguarding young people and vulnerable adults.

How can children and young people be protected from “county lines”?

Find out more >>

 

County Lines training course

Our online Child Exploitation training course has been written in partnership with NWG Network and covers all types of exploitation in detail, including County Lines.

The course will help learners to understand:

  • what child exploitation is
  • models of child exploitation
  • recognising child exploitation and the impact it can have
  • what to do if you have concerns
  • what support is available
 

Read more

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Courses

Child Exploitation

Child exploitation refers to a child or young person being used for someone else’s gain. Child exploitation is a form of abuse which can involve sexual, abusive or manipulative behaviour. The course is produced in partnership with NWG Network, a charitable organisation made up of thousands of practitioners. They offer support, advice and training and raise awareness of child exploitation.

Read more

Child Exploitation

This course covers:

  • Models & forms of exploitation that a child or young person may be subjected to
  • A scenario exploring an example case of exploitation
  • Physical and psychological signs of exploitation
  • Factors that can increase a person's vulnerability
  • Short & long-term effects of exploitation and its impact on family members
  • Barriers to disclosure
  • What to do if you are worried about a child

Additional information

Domestic Abuse: Children and Young People

The purpose of this course is to help you understand:

  • What domestic abuse is and what forms it can take
  • What controlling and coercive behaviour is
  • The prevalence of domestic abuse
  • They key risk factors to be aware of
  • Some of the trigger events that can lead to violence
  • The impact domestic violence can have
  • What protective factors there are
  • What to do when you suspect a child or young person is witnessing and/or experiencing domestic abuse
  • What support, help and advice is available

Additional information

Serious Youth Violence

The purpose of this course is to help you understand:

  • what is meant by the terms 'serious youth violence'
  • how serious youth violence impacts upon communties
  • what we already know about serious youth violence
  • the vulnerabilities and risk factors that can lead to criminal exploitation
  • the process of recruitment and the four main stages; targeting, experience, hooked and trapped
  • child criminal exploitation, county lines and their definitions
  • what a gang is and the terminologies such as 'gang', 'youth group' and 'serious organised crime group'
  • further information on 'Organised Crime Groups' (OCG) and 'Serious Organised Crime Groups' (SOCG)
  • details on a report from the Children's Commissioner
    • it is estimated there are 27,000 children in England who self-identify as being gang members
    • tens of thousands more are said to be on the periphery
  • current statistics published by The Office of National Statistics
  • the reasons why young people say they carry weapons and the different criminal offences associated
  • contextual safeguarding and the importance of early intervention
  • signs and behaviours to look out for and case studies
  • next steps to take

Additional information

Raising Awareness of Trafficking and Modern Slavery

The purpose of this course is to help you understand:

  • What modern slavery and trafficking are
  • Different types of trafficking
  • Who trafficking affects
  • The Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • Internal trafficking and county lines
  • How to spot the signs of trafficking
  • How to report concerns about a trafficked child or adult

Additional information

Courses

Domestic Abuse: Children and Young People

Every day children and young people experience domestic abuse at home and can suffer a wide range of severe and long-lasting effects. The purpose of the course is to raise your awareness of children and young people who may be experiencing domestic abuse. Written in partnership with SafeLives, a national charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse.

Read more

Child Exploitation

This course covers:

  • Models & forms of exploitation that a child or young person may be subjected to
  • A scenario exploring an example case of exploitation
  • Physical and psychological signs of exploitation
  • Factors that can increase a person's vulnerability
  • Short & long-term effects of exploitation and its impact on family members
  • Barriers to disclosure
  • What to do if you are worried about a child

Additional information

Domestic Abuse: Children and Young People

The purpose of this course is to help you understand:

  • What domestic abuse is and what forms it can take
  • What controlling and coercive behaviour is
  • The prevalence of domestic abuse
  • They key risk factors to be aware of
  • Some of the trigger events that can lead to violence
  • The impact domestic violence can have
  • What protective factors there are
  • What to do when you suspect a child or young person is witnessing and/or experiencing domestic abuse
  • What support, help and advice is available

Additional information

Serious Youth Violence

The purpose of this course is to help you understand:

  • what is meant by the terms 'serious youth violence'
  • how serious youth violence impacts upon communties
  • what we already know about serious youth violence
  • the vulnerabilities and risk factors that can lead to criminal exploitation
  • the process of recruitment and the four main stages; targeting, experience, hooked and trapped
  • child criminal exploitation, county lines and their definitions
  • what a gang is and the terminologies such as 'gang', 'youth group' and 'serious organised crime group'
  • further information on 'Organised Crime Groups' (OCG) and 'Serious Organised Crime Groups' (SOCG)
  • details on a report from the Children's Commissioner
    • it is estimated there are 27,000 children in England who self-identify as being gang members
    • tens of thousands more are said to be on the periphery
  • current statistics published by The Office of National Statistics
  • the reasons why young people say they carry weapons and the different criminal offences associated
  • contextual safeguarding and the importance of early intervention
  • signs and behaviours to look out for and case studies
  • next steps to take

Additional information

Raising Awareness of Trafficking and Modern Slavery

The purpose of this course is to help you understand:

  • What modern slavery and trafficking are
  • Different types of trafficking
  • Who trafficking affects
  • The Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • Internal trafficking and county lines
  • How to spot the signs of trafficking
  • How to report concerns about a trafficked child or adult

Additional information

Courses

Serious Youth Violence

The impact serious youth violence has on individuals and the community is significant. Written in partnership with The Children’s Society, this course raises awareness of this major issue.

Read more

Child Exploitation

This course covers:

  • Models & forms of exploitation that a child or young person may be subjected to
  • A scenario exploring an example case of exploitation
  • Physical and psychological signs of exploitation
  • Factors that can increase a person's vulnerability
  • Short & long-term effects of exploitation and its impact on family members
  • Barriers to disclosure
  • What to do if you are worried about a child

Additional information

Domestic Abuse: Children and Young People

The purpose of this course is to help you understand:

  • What domestic abuse is and what forms it can take
  • What controlling and coercive behaviour is
  • The prevalence of domestic abuse
  • They key risk factors to be aware of
  • Some of the trigger events that can lead to violence
  • The impact domestic violence can have
  • What protective factors there are
  • What to do when you suspect a child or young person is witnessing and/or experiencing domestic abuse
  • What support, help and advice is available

Additional information

Serious Youth Violence

The purpose of this course is to help you understand:

  • what is meant by the terms 'serious youth violence'
  • how serious youth violence impacts upon communties
  • what we already know about serious youth violence
  • the vulnerabilities and risk factors that can lead to criminal exploitation
  • the process of recruitment and the four main stages; targeting, experience, hooked and trapped
  • child criminal exploitation, county lines and their definitions
  • what a gang is and the terminologies such as 'gang', 'youth group' and 'serious organised crime group'
  • further information on 'Organised Crime Groups' (OCG) and 'Serious Organised Crime Groups' (SOCG)
  • details on a report from the Children's Commissioner
    • it is estimated there are 27,000 children in England who self-identify as being gang members
    • tens of thousands more are said to be on the periphery
  • current statistics published by The Office of National Statistics
  • the reasons why young people say they carry weapons and the different criminal offences associated
  • contextual safeguarding and the importance of early intervention
  • signs and behaviours to look out for and case studies
  • next steps to take

Additional information

Raising Awareness of Trafficking and Modern Slavery

The purpose of this course is to help you understand:

  • What modern slavery and trafficking are
  • Different types of trafficking
  • Who trafficking affects
  • The Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • Internal trafficking and county lines
  • How to spot the signs of trafficking
  • How to report concerns about a trafficked child or adult

Additional information

Courses

Raising Awareness of Trafficking and Modern Slavery

The term modern slavery acknowledges the fact that millions of people are still held in conditions of slavery and servitude globally – including in the UK. Written in partnership with the Children’s Society, this course raises awareness of this issue.

Read more

Child Exploitation

This course covers:

  • Models & forms of exploitation that a child or young person may be subjected to
  • A scenario exploring an example case of exploitation
  • Physical and psychological signs of exploitation
  • Factors that can increase a person's vulnerability
  • Short & long-term effects of exploitation and its impact on family members
  • Barriers to disclosure
  • What to do if you are worried about a child

Additional information

Domestic Abuse: Children and Young People

The purpose of this course is to help you understand:

  • What domestic abuse is and what forms it can take
  • What controlling and coercive behaviour is
  • The prevalence of domestic abuse
  • They key risk factors to be aware of
  • Some of the trigger events that can lead to violence
  • The impact domestic violence can have
  • What protective factors there are
  • What to do when you suspect a child or young person is witnessing and/or experiencing domestic abuse
  • What support, help and advice is available

Additional information

Serious Youth Violence

The purpose of this course is to help you understand:

  • what is meant by the terms 'serious youth violence'
  • how serious youth violence impacts upon communties
  • what we already know about serious youth violence
  • the vulnerabilities and risk factors that can lead to criminal exploitation
  • the process of recruitment and the four main stages; targeting, experience, hooked and trapped
  • child criminal exploitation, county lines and their definitions
  • what a gang is and the terminologies such as 'gang', 'youth group' and 'serious organised crime group'
  • further information on 'Organised Crime Groups' (OCG) and 'Serious Organised Crime Groups' (SOCG)
  • details on a report from the Children's Commissioner
    • it is estimated there are 27,000 children in England who self-identify as being gang members
    • tens of thousands more are said to be on the periphery
  • current statistics published by The Office of National Statistics
  • the reasons why young people say they carry weapons and the different criminal offences associated
  • contextual safeguarding and the importance of early intervention
  • signs and behaviours to look out for and case studies
  • next steps to take

Additional information

Raising Awareness of Trafficking and Modern Slavery

The purpose of this course is to help you understand:

  • What modern slavery and trafficking are
  • Different types of trafficking
  • Who trafficking affects
  • The Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • Internal trafficking and county lines
  • How to spot the signs of trafficking
  • How to report concerns about a trafficked child or adult

Additional information

News

Reframe the blame

We're working on a campaign to raise awareness of why children and young people may behave in a certain way and how understanding exploitation is key to better safeguarding.

Read more
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