What Is County Lines?

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What Is County Lines

What is the meaning of county lines?

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.

Why is it called county line?

What does county lines mean? – County lines is a form of criminal exploitation. It is when criminals befriend children, either online of offline, and then manipulate them into drug dealing. The ‘lines’ refer to mobile phones that are used to control a young person who is delivering drugs, often to towns outside their home county.

What does the UK government define county lines as?

The UK Government defines county lines as: County lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas within the UK, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of ‘deal line’.

What is county lines London?

How common is drug trafficking in the UK? – According to official statistics from 2022, approximately one in 11 adults aged 16 to 59 years and approximately one in five adults aged 16-24 reported using illegal drugs in the year ending June 2022; there was no change compared with the year ending March 2020.

Container shippingYachts and small boatsLight aircraftVehicle traffic from continental EuropeAirline passengersThe post and fast parcels

The National Crime Agency says profits are high at all stages of drug trafficking, but particularly for those who can access the drugs in their source country. Criminals from the Balkans dominate the cannabis and cocaine market, but British traffickers remain a significant threat.

How many County Lines are there in the UK?

The Home Office found that in 2019 there were over 1,000 different County Lines operating across the UK. The Children’s Commissioner’s research has suggested that children as young as 10 were being recruited into gangs and estimated that 46,000 children in England are involved in gangs.

What is the story of the County Lines?

Groomed and exploited – Evan is being exploited and has been forced to move drugs. his friend Jaime knows something is wrong – what should he do? Have you seen ‘Running the Lines’ ? This short Fearless film, made in Wales, raises awareness of how ‘County Lines’ drug gangs exploit young people to sell drugs.

What is the scale of county lines UK?

‘County lines’: huge scale of £500m drug industry revealed

  • The scale of the “county lines” trade, in which criminal networks exploit thousands of children and vulnerable adults to funnel hard drugs from cities to towns and rural areas, is greater than crime-fighting chiefs previously thought, with a fresh assessment revealing a £500m industry linked to murder and sexual exploitation.
  • County lines involves gangs in cities such as London, Birmingham and Liverpool using children as young as 11 to deal mostly heroin and crack cocaine over a network of dedicated mobile phones.
  • The number of individual phone numbers identified by law enforcement officials as being used on established county lines networks is now 2,000 – nearly three times the 720 previously established, the National Agency (NCA) said.
  • In its annual assessment of the county lines trade, the NCA said the phone numbers were linked to about 1,000 branded networks, with a single line capable of making £800,000 profits in a year.

Quick Guide Show What does the term ‘county lines’ mean? The name ‘county lines’ refers to the phone numbers, or lines, that criminal gangs which traffic drugs from urban to rural areas use to organise the sale of their wares. Gangs in cities such as London, Birmingham and Liverpool use children to deal mostly heroin and crack cocaine over a network of dedicated mobile phones to smaller towns and rural areas.

  1. Who are the victims and how are they recruited?
  2. The majority of victims groomed into working for gangs are 15- to 17-year-old boys but children as young as 11 have been safeguarded and girls have been targeted.
  3. Many victims are recruited over social media, with offenders luring them with images of cash, designer clothing and luxury cars, but vulnerable girls and women are being targeted by men who create the impression of a romantic relationship before subjecting them to sexual exploitation.
  4. How big is the problem?

In 2015, about seven forces reported county lines behaviour. Now, 44 forces, including British Transport Police, have recorded county lines behaviour on their turf. No one really knows how many young people across the country are being forced to take part.

  • How many children have been affected
  • The number of individual phone numbers identified by law enforcement officials as being used on established county lines networks is about 2,000 – nearly three times the 720 previously established.
  • Police estimate the phone numbers are linked to about 1,000 branded networks, with a single line capable of making £800,000 profits in a year.
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The Children’s Commissioner estimates at least 46,000 children in England are caught up in gangs. Thank you for your feedback. County lines offenders have been caught using mass marketing text messages to advertise drugs with promotions such as two-for-one deals and free samples, the report revealed.

  1. Many victims are recruited over social media, with offenders luring them by showing off images of cash, designer clothing and luxury cars, but vulnerable girls and women are being targeted by men who create the impression of a romantic relationship before subjecting them to sexual exploitation.
  2. Vulnerable drug users are at continuing risk of serious violence, including loss of life, with a number of murders identified as having county lines links.
  3. Nikki Holland, the director of investigations and county lines lead at the NCA, told journalists at the agency’s headquarters in south-west London that profits from the county lines trade nationwide were estimated at about £500m.

Releasing the 2018 assessment, Holland said: “Tackling county lines is a national law enforcement priority. We know that criminal networks use high levels of violence, exploitation and abuse to ensure compliance from the vulnerable people they employ to do the day-to-day drug supply activity.

  • Every organised crime group trafficking drugs is a business which relies on cashflow.
  • County lines is no different.
  • What we will continue to do with our law enforcement partners is disrupt their activity and take away their assets.
  • We also need to ensure that those exploited are safeguarded and understand the consequences of their involvement.

This is not something law enforcement can tackle alone – the need to work together to disrupt this activity and safeguard vulnerable victims must be the priority for everyone.”

  • Holland said the increase in the phone numbers identified did not reflect a worsening of the problem, rather an increasing awareness among law enforcement of the scale.
  • The greatest number of county lines originate from the Metropolitan police area at about 15%, followed by the West Midlands police area at 9% and Merseyside at 7%.
  • About 21% of cases involve vulnerable adults trafficked or exploited into the county lines trade and 17% of cases involve “cuckooing” – when gangs set up dealing bases by taking over the homes of addicted or otherwise vulnerable people, including people with disabilities.
  • Gangmasters target children with impoverished backgrounds, who have experienced family breakdown or intervention by social services or exclusion from school, the report said.

The offenders also target drug addicts who allow the use of their property but often end up building up debt with the network, which they have to pay back through further offending. Adult victims often live with mental health conditions including depression and anxiety.

  1. Many victims are recruited in “importing” towns – locations which are receiving drugs from major cities to sell on, the assessment said.
  2. There has been an increase in the use of short-term lets and guesthouses, including using the accommodation website Airbnb, the NCA revealed.
  3. Rail network hubs such as Birmingham New Street, Clapham Junction, Manchester Piccadilly, St Pancras International and Waterloo have been identified as key points of access by the NCA but other less obvious hubs are likely to be frequently used.
  4. The assessment comes at the end of a week of enforcement action across the country, which saw 600 arrests connected to county lines.
  5. More than 400 vulnerable adults and 600 children were referred to safeguarding following the coordinated activity, which included the execution of warrants at addresses, visits to vulnerable people including those at risk of cuckooing, and officer engagement with private hire companies.
  6. There were 40 referrals to the national referral mechanism (NRM), which assesses individuals as potential victims of human trafficking or modern slavery.
  7. More than 140 weapons were seized, including 12 firearms, swords, machetes, axes and knives, and cash totalling more than £200,000 and significant amounts of drugs were seized.
  8. The Met’s deputy assistant commissioner Duncan Ball, the National Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for county lines, said: “Last week’s targeted work on county lines gangs shows how police forces across the UK are working together to dismantle these networks and protect the young and vulnerable people who are exploited by them.”
  9. Meanwhile, two drug dealers were found guilty on Tuesday of murdering a man who had ordered drugs on a deal line branded “RJ”.
  10. Juned Ahmed, 18, and Ashraf Hussan, 20, stabbed Peter Anderson, 46, multiple times at just after 4pm on 25 July last year in Cambridge.

It is not known whether the attack was a result of mistaken identity in relation to a robbery on Ahmed the day before, or “simply because they didn’t like the way he looked”, but Anderson was left seriously injured. He later died in hospital. : ‘County lines’: huge scale of £500m drug industry revealed

How do you deal with cuckooing?

Risks and offences of cuckooing – The aim of any multi-intervention will be to protect the tenancy of the usual occupants in the cuckooed property. When carrying out their investigations, both investigators and prosecutors will proactively try to establish, so far as possible, who may be a witness, defendant or victim.

  • However, if drugs are found at the property it is likely that the vulnerable adult, being a resident at the address, will be interviewed and/or arrested by the police.
  • If an occupier allows gang members to use their property for drug supply, they may face a prison sentence and/or a fine.
  • However, if there is evidence to suggest that the adult is vulnerable and has been exploited by the gang, this will be considered when making charging decisions and safeguarding measures will be put in place.
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Benefits could be lost and the housing provider may choose to evict the resident. Often, housing providers will begin by issuing a Closure Order on the address which can involve restricted access to others for up to six months. Usually an agreement on who can attend the address will be put in place between the housing provider and the resident.

These are a positive measure and can be used to help the resident gain control over their home again. Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, landlords or property managers can receive up to 14 years’ imprisonment or a substantial fine for having drugs residing at their property. The property may be seized or forfeited as well as prosecuted for money laundering.

The premises may be ‘closed down’ and boarded up under the terms of a Premises Closure Order: (Section 76 Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 ). Many campaigners including Justice and Care believe that the Modern Slavery Act 2015 in its recognition of the criminalisation of holding another in servitude, ought to afford protection to people when their homes are taken over by another.

They have stated that: “This should be the case irrespective of whether, and without the need for, any ‘additional’ service or labour is required and irrespective of whether ‘additional’ offending takes place against the victim”. Everyone has the right to feel safe from crime. In an emergency, always call 999.

If you are worried about cuckooing, you can report it to the police on 101, or online at www.met.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/how-to-report-a-crime/, If you don’t want to give your name, you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

What does a drug runner do?

Transporting drugs Drug dealing groups often use young people to deliver their drugs, by paying them or by forcing them through violence and grooming. These young people, known as ‘runners’, are usually male and aged between 12 and 20.

Do first time drug offenders go to jail UK?

What are the sentences for different types of drug offences? – The sentences you can receive for first time drug offences will depend on the type of offence and type of controlled substance. As a general rule, sentence for offences involving higher classes of controlled drugs will be more serious than lower classes (e.g.

Seven years’ custody, an unlimited fine or both for possessionA life sentence, unlimited fine or both for supply, production and importation

For simple first-time offences for drug possession, it is unlikely that you will face jail time. If you do not have a criminal record, this will likely act as a mitigating factor which could reduce the punishment you receive to an out of court disposal, community resolution or conditional caution.

What to do if you find out your son is dealing drugs?

What to Do If Your Son is Selling Drugs – Once you’ve noticed a combination of troubling red flags, you may wonder how to address the problem. Along with staging an intervention and seeking professional help, there are some measures you can take to tackle the issue before it escalates. Here are some tips to follow if your son is selling drugs:

Find out where he keeps his stash. Doing this will support your suspicions and claims when you decide to confront him. Control yourself, don’t react emotionally, and only confront your son once you’ve calmed down. Get ready to engage your son or stage an intervention. Ask questions and be sure to listen in a nonjudgmental way to discover the root cause of the problem. Set rules and strong guidelines, Let your son know the possible consequences of drug dealing and remind him that you want him to be safe. Seek professional help from addiction treatment experts.

Drug dealing can be indicative of a deeper emotional or behavioral problem. Getting your son professional help may be the answer if your child won’t heed your call to change. Your son might benefit from the exclusive gender-specific care we offer at PACE Recovery Center.

What are the county lines in East Anglia?

‘County Lines’ is the operation of an urban criminal gang travelling from London to smaller locations, such as Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Kings Lynn, to sell heroin and crack cocaine. These gangs identify a vulnerable customer base in remote areas and aim to exploit them.

What are county lines in the West Midlands?

County Lines is a way to describe a specific type of criminal exploitation. This is where gangs and organised crime networks exploit children to sell drugs. They are often forced to travel to different counties, and they use dedicated mobile phone ‘lines’ to sell these drugs. This is where the term comes from.

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What is county lines BBC?

What Is County Lines This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer 14-year-old Tyler is picked on at school. One day, he is approached by a young man who appears to offer him protection, but this is in fact the start of Tyler being groomed into drug smuggling. Show more 14-year-old Tyler lives with his struggling single mother and young sister.

Is County Lines Based on a true story?

County Lines – a true story of gangs turning children into drug mules What Is County Lines Writer-director Henry Blake’s powerful feature debut County Lines boasts a compelling central performance by Conrad Khan as 14-year-old Tyler, whose mum Toni ( Ashley Madekwe ) is struggling to provide for him and his sister. Excluded from school, Tyler becomes a train-bound narcotics courier for local criminal Simon, played with a calm menace by Harris Dickinson.

  1. This film depicts the ensuing cycle of debt, deceit and violent exploitation with a quiet stylistic confidence that’s all the more haunting for being so rigorously unsentimental.
  2. The filmmaking is so sharp I was hooked The acting is superb ” – Charlotte O’Sullivan, Evening Standard County lines is a term that refers to the grooming, exploitation and trafficking of children as drug mules across the country and Blake’s incredible story is inspired by his own experiences working with young people just like Tyler.

For over a decade, he’s worked with vulnerable children aged between 8 and 18, and through that work he was transferred to a facility for kids who were being exploited and trafficked via county lines criminal networks. County Lines follows in the wake of outstanding British social realism and Henry Blake is sure to be discussed alongside directors like Ken Loach, Basil Dearden and Alan Clarke for his unflinching portrait ripped straight from the headlines.

  • This is brute social realism with a thriller’s ticking clock: The tension is not over what will happen but when, and how fatal the fallout will be.
  • Guy Lodge, Variety County Lines is showing at the No.6 Cinema on Thursday 24th March.
  • This community-curated screening by young people from Motiv8 includes a performance by DJs and rappers from Music Fusion and a Q&A with the film’s producer David Broder in the bar before the film.

Tickets are available, : County Lines – a true story of gangs turning children into drug mules

What does going country mean?

COUNTY LINES SLANG – Some words are commonly used when describing county lines activity. If you hear or see someone using these words it could mean that they are involved in, or might know of county lines activity.

Cuckooing : Cuckooing is when drug gangs take over the home of a vulnerable person through violence and intimidation, using it as their base for selling/manufacturing drugs. Going Country / OT / Going Cunch: 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 or Bando: 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). Trap Line : This refers to when someone owns a mobile phone specifically for the purpose of running and selling drugs. OBS / OPPO: This refers to opposition as in a rivalling neighbourhood gang. Plugging: This is where things have been concealed for transporting usually inserted into the rectum or vagina. Shotter: A drug dealer “G”: A gram of illegal drugs “Q”: A quarter of an ounce of drugs

The Children’s Society Slang Dictionary has a comprehensive guide on county lines vocabulary. Belonging to Neighbourhood Watch has a host of benefits Find out more

What is county lines BBC?

What Is County Lines This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer 14-year-old Tyler is picked on at school. One day, he is approached by a young man who appears to offer him protection, but this is in fact the start of Tyler being groomed into drug smuggling. Show more 14-year-old Tyler lives with his struggling single mother and young sister.

Can I get money for reporting a drug dealer UK?

Does CrimeStoppers Pay? – Crimestoppers pay cash rewards of up to £1000 for information that leads to one or more people being arrested or is of significant benefit to law enforcement agencies. People reporting crimes or submitting information are provided, on request, with a reward code and are asked to call back in 8 weeks to find out if there has been a positive result.

This form of reward is called an ‘ordinary reward’. If a positive result is attained, in response to a report, the reward must be confirmed by the Crimestoppers CEO, which can take in excess of 4 weeks. In addition to their ordinary rewards Crimestoppers can also award what are called ‘enhanced rewards’.

These tend to be larger amounts, up to a maximum of £10,000 that can be requested by police forces. This form of reward is usually offered for cases involving vulnerable people or where there is the risk of more offences or in situations where fear in the community has escalated.