county Lines

County Lines is a very serious issue where criminal gangs set up a drug dealing operation in a place outside their usual operating area. Gangs will move their drug dealing from big cities (e.g.  London, Manchester, Liverpool etc.) to smaller towns in order to make more money. This can have a really big effect on the community who live there and bring with it serious criminal behaviour.
 
If you have any information about this type of behaviour you can let us know 100% anonymously
 
Crimes Associated with County Lines
 
Drugs

County lines commonly involves the illegal distribution and dealing of seriously dangerous drugs from one city/town to another. The most common drugs involved are heroin and cocaine (crack and powder), but also MDMA, cannabis, amphetamines and spice.


VIOLENCE
Gangs sometimes use violence to threaten children and young people when recruiting them. Gangs also violently assault children and young people working for them if they find their drugs or money to be missing. Weapons such as firearms, knives, bats, acid are sometimes used to make violent threats.




 EXPLOITATION
Gangs recruit and use children and young people to move drugs and money for them. Children as young as 12 years old and up to 17 years old are recruited, often using social media. They are exploited and forced to carry drugs between locations, usually on trains or coaches. They are also forced to sell drugs to local users.



SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
Young girls are often groomed and forced into relationships with gang members and are made to perform sexual acts.

Signs to look out for

Here are some signs to look out for that can suggest that someone you know might be involved in county lines activity.
  • Are they always going missing from school or their home?
  • Are they travelling alone to places far away from home?
  • Do they suddenly have lots of money/lots of new clothes/new mobile phones?
  • Are they receiving much more calls or texts than usual?
  • Are they carrying or selling drugs? 
  • Are they carrying weapons or know people that have access to weapons? 
  • Are they in a relationship with or hanging out with someone/people that are older and controlling? 
  • Do they have unexplained injuries? 
  • Do they seem very reserved or seem like they have something to hide?
  • Do they seem scared?
  • Are they self-harming?


Useful Links

If you or anyone you know is affected by the issues mention on this page, here are some useful links you can explore for more information and support. 
Recognise these terms?

Here are some words/terms that are commonly used when describing county lines activity. If you hear someone using these words then they might be involved in or might know of county lines activity.

Cuckooing
This is when drug dealers take over the home of a vulnerable individual and use it as their base for selling/manufaturing drugs. Commonly, drug users are targeted and are offered "free" drugs in exchange.

GOING COUNTRY
This is the most popular term that describes county lines activity. It can also mean the act of travelling to another city/town to deliver drugs or money.

TRAPPING
The act of selling drugs. Trapping can refer to the act of moving drugs from one town to another or the act of selling drugs in one. 

TRAP HOUSE
A building used as a base from where drugs are sold (or sometimes manufactured). These houses usually are occupied by someone (usually adult drug users but sometimes young people are forced to stay in trap houses) location.

Trap line
This refers to when someone owns a mobile phone specifically for the purpose of running and selling of drug.

 
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