County Lines drug dealing refers to the transporting of illegal drugs.
This can be the movement of drugs across local communities – as well as the transportation of drugs from big cities to towns. The “line” refers to the phone used to deal the drugs themselves.
County Lines is not simply a drugs issue. County lines gangs groom and then exploit children to take a range of high-risk roles for them. By exploiting children, gangs are able to keep their costs low – as they don’t need to pay the children anything (despite the promises they may make at first). The gangs are also able to keep themselves out of trouble – both from the police and from rival gangs.
There is a widespread misunderstanding that only a certain “type” of child is exploited by county lines gangs – or that it only happens in certain areas. This may have been the case a few years ago. However, more recently, gangs have actively tried to recruit what they call “clean skins” – these are children unknown to police or law enforcement who will not arouse the same suspicion. County lines activity has also spread from larger cities into suburbs, towns and villages.
The issue is also seen only as drugs problem. The real issue is the exploitation, emotional and physical abuse faced by the children who are recruited.
Trevelyan Middle School have created a film to show the realities of county lines. The school has also produced a Parents and Carers Guide to County Lines, which can be accessed here.
This video was not produced by Health for Kids: Grownups and may contain adverts.