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Information on a gang culture using children across county borders.

Criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults is a geographically widespread form of harm that is a typical feature of county lines activity. It is a harm which relatively little is known about or recognised by those best placed to spot its potential victims.

What is it?

  • Organised crime based on a model of drug supply, violence and intimidation.


  • Gang and gang organisation, often CSE a factor.
  • Firearms, knives, corrosives a feature used in intimidation.
  • Crossing county borders to source and recruit vulnerable young people to start and sustain supply chains.
  • Move and launder money from illicit means.
  • Targets the most vulnerable and disaffected youth for example those missing or often out of school or education.

What can schools do:

  • raise awareness for staff & to be alert
  • consider for staff training
  • identify potential children
  • use safeguarding processes to report

For school staff training and for use in Secondary schools we are recommending the YouTube video clip ‘Trapped – County Lines’  this is a useful tool to help raise awareness; provide an understanding of the current concerns and to use to aid discussion.

More information is available from BBC News.

Also see