County Lines

What does County Lines mean?

'County Lines' refer to the use of telephone/mobile numbers circulated to users in a particular area for ordering drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine (although cannabis and MDMA are also used). The telephone number is usually operated from outside the area. This is how the group builds their brand. Unlike other criminal activities where telephone numbers are changed on a regular basis, these telephone numbers are maintained and protected, often by gangs and organised crime groups which ‘target’ the areas, either because they have a good illegal economy (for example, a large number of drug users) or because they have decent transport links to London.

Criminal gangs are targeting children to move drugs and money in and out of cities and large towns. This is a national issue, but we need to be aware of criminal gangs, and to be able to spot the signs that our children may be being targeted.

These criminals are targeting children as young as 8 to 12 years old. They target children across all economic, ethnic and social groups.

Young people will rarely say that they are running a ‘County Line’ or ‘Country Line’. They are more likely to say that they are ‘Running a Line’ ‘Going Cunch’ or ‘Going O.T.’ (which stands for Over There, Out There or Outta Town).

Our #SeeTheSigns campaign aims to put an end to the recruitment of children and young people into these gangs, by informing people of the things to look out for and offering a way to contact relevant people who can help, should anyone have any concerns.

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