County Lines is where illegal drugs are transported from one area to another, often across police and local authority boundaries (although not exclusively), usually by children or vulnerable people who are coerced into it by gangs. The 'County Line' is the mobile phone line used to take the orders of drugs. Importing areas (areas where the drugs are taken to) are reporting increased levels of violence and weapons-related crimes as a result of this trend.
This site helps to explain what County Lines is all about, what signs to look for that it might be taking place and what to do if you have concerns about a young person being involved.
Protecting Children from County Lines
County lines gangs are highly organised criminal networks that use sophisticated, frequently evolving techniques to groom young people and evade capture by the police.
This site gives information on the Risks to children, Recognising the dangers, Responding and Prevention.
Where to go for help and advice
Anyone who has concerns about a young person being criminally exploited by older people should call police on 101 or report their concerns online.
For more information in Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland, visit www.leics.police.uk/areyoulistening
Leicester & Rutland (LLR) have a Criminal Exploitation Screening Tool (also referred to as the Gang Association Tool [GAT]). It is available in the Local Resources section of their Safeguarding Children Partnerships Procedures Manual under "Risk Assessments / Screening Tools / Toolkits".
Please note that Leicestershire has a new Child Exploitation screening - this is a joint tool for all forms of exploitation - see in Resources- Toolkit for link
Home Office Child Exploitation Disruption Toolkit - this toolkit has been developed to support frontline practitioners to safeguard children and young people under the age of 18 from sexual and criminal exploitation. This includes social workers, police officers, housing officers, education staff, healthcare staff, charity staff, and others.
The Children’s Society Look Closer National Campaign
- To increase awareness of the signs and indicators of child exploitation and abuse. To encourage members of the public and those working in the corporate sector to report concerns promptly to the police.
- To increase awareness of the signs and indicators of child exploitation and abuse amongst professionals and increase understanding of there being 'no perfect victim'.
- To increase professionals understanding of emerging exploitation issues and promising practice in responding to these.
- To encourage a victim focused response to child exploitation and abuse, recognising that young people may commit crime as part of their exploitation.
- To increase understanding amongst professionals around effective approaches to positively engage young people who may be victims of exploitation and abuse.
- To increase the reporting of intelligence related to child exploitation and abuse from both members of the public and professionals. This will allow professionals to better safeguard children and target those exploiting them.
Local Resources and Training
Are You Listening?
"Are You Listening" is a partnership campaign to raise awareness of the issue of Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
Funded by Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland's Violence Reduction Network, the film entitled 'Are you listening' aims to raise awareness of CCE, some of the signs that could indicate a child is in danger and where you can go for help and support. It is important we all play an active role in tackling this issue.
Leicestershire Police County Lines and Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) Workshops for Schools
Leicestershire Police are raising awareness of County Lines and CCE. The County Lines and CCE Workshops are aimed at both students and staff. They sit within the PHSE association remit for KS3.
Please email email@example.com directly to register your interest for a workshop if the scheduled dates have expired.
Useful National Websites
The following websites provide useful information on CCE and County Lines: