What’s County Lines? – Dec 2018

Residents need to be aware that there have been reports of gangs coming from outside the village targeting children related to either drugs or grooming.  Consequently The Parish Council wishes to bring to the attention of residents the issue of ‘County Lines’.

‘County Lines’ is the term used when gangs and organised crime networks exploit children as young as 12 to sell drugs often forcing them to travel across counties using dedicated mobile phone ‘lines’ to supply drugs.   It is estimated that around 4,000 teenagers in London alone are being exploited through child ‘County Lines’.  Tragically these exploited young people may be seen by professionals as criminals rather than in need of support as victims of trafficking and child exploitation

Gangs are deliberately targeting vulnerable children – often those who are homeless living in care homes or trapped in poverty: children who feel unsafe, unloved, or unable to cope. The gangs groom, threaten or trick children into trafficking drugs for them. They might physically threaten a young person or their family members or offer something in return for the young person’s cooperation –money, food, alcohol, clothes and jewellery, or improved status – but the giving of  gifts will then be manipulated so that the child feels they are in debt to their exploiter and have no choice but to continue doing what the gangs want.

You can find more information at the Children Society website.
If you think a young person you know could be in danger call 999, or if you have non-urgent information to share with the police, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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