what are county lines?
County Lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in dealing illegal drugs, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of ‘deal line.’ The gang activity is associated with drug dealing, vulnerable people, exploitation and violence.
County Lines has a devastating impact on young people, vulnerable adults and local communities.
Gangs will use children and vulnerable people to move drugs and money, by criminally exploiting them. They will also seek to establish a base in target locations, typically taking over the homes of local vulnerable adults by force or coercion – this is referred to as ‘cuckooing’.
People exploited in this way will quite often be exposed to physical, mental and sexual abuse, and in some instances will be trafficked to areas a long way from home as part of the network’s drug dealing business.