Helping Shape Your Future

Since 1986

Helping Shape Your Future

Since 1986

County Lines

‘County Lines’ is a term used when drug gangs from big cities expand their operations to smaller towns, often using violence to drive out local dealers and exploiting children and vulnerable people to sell drugs. These dealers will use dedicated mobile phone lines, known as ‘deal lines’, to take orders from drug users. Heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine are the most common drugs being supplied and ordered. In most instances, the users or customers will live in a different area to where the dealers and networks are based, so drug runners are needed to transport the drugs and collect payment.

Drugs

County lines commonly involves the illegal distribution and dealing of seriously dangerous drugs from one city/town to another. The most common drugs involved are heroin and cocaine (crack and powder), but also MDMA, cannabis, amphetamines and spice.

Violence

Gangs sometimes use violence to threaten children and young people when recruiting them. Gangs also violently assault children and young people working for them if they find their drugs or money to be missing. Weapons such as firearms, knives, bats, acid are sometimes used to make violent threats.

 

Here are some signs to look out for that can suggest that someone you know might be involved in county lines activity:

  • Are they always going missing from school or their home?
  • Are they travelling alone to places far away from home?
  • Do they suddenly have lots of money/lots of new clothes/new mobile phones?
  • Are they receiving much more calls or texts than usual?
  • Are they carrying or selling drugs? 
  • Are they carrying weapons or know people that have access to weapons? 
  • Are they in a relationship with or hanging out with someone/people that are older and controlling? 
  • Do they have unexplained injuries? 
  • Do they seem very reserved or seem like they have something to hide?
  • Do they seem scared?
  • Are they self-harming?

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p07l74nq/on-the-ground-county-lines-and-the-children-they-exploit

 

The National Crime Agency says they are seeing increases in the “scale and scope of the threat” from county lines.
County lines is where urban drug gangs expand their markets for crack cocaine and heroin into smaller towns.
They often exploit teenagers as drug runners and vulnerable addicts to provide flats to deal from – a process called cuckooing.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPRO1l_2huM

 

Going country

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

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) location.

Trap line

This refers to when someone owns a mobile phone specifically for the purpose of running and selling of drug.

 

What does Cuckooing mean?

Cuckooing is a form of crime in which drug dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to use it as a base for drug dealing.

 

https://www.itv.com/news/granada/2019-10-18/north-west-county-lines-drugs-gang-jailed/

 

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/live-county-lines-raids-police-16867920

 

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/million-pound-drug-deals-overdose-17103431

 

https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/what-we-do/crime-threats/drug-trafficking/county-lines

If you would like to speak to our safeguarding team about any of the related issues; or if you have any Safeguarding concerns, please contact a member of the team.

Paul Sheron

Paul Sheron

Safeguarding &
Prevent Lead

paul-sheron@nwcsltd.uk
tel: 0151 521 5888
mobile: 07548 840156

Annette Swinnerton

Annette Swinnerton

Deputy Safeguarding Officer /
Mental Health Lead

annette-swinnerton@nwcsltd.uk
tel: 0151 521 5888
mobile: 07821 640 050

Sylvia Jones

Call us now on 0151 521 5888

Other articles in this series

Stress awareness

According to the Mental health Foundation 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. April is National Stress Awareness Month. Stress Awareness Month is held each April, to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures of stress.

Read More »

LGBTIQ+ and Mental Health

Video game addiction (VGA), also known as gaming disorder or internet gaming disorder, is generally defined as the problematic, compulsive use of video games that results in significant impairment to an individual’s ability to function in various life domains over a prolonged period of time.

Read More »

Gaming addiction

Video game addiction (VGA), also known as gaming disorder or internet gaming disorder, is generally defined as the problematic, compulsive use of video games that results in significant impairment to an individual’s ability to function in various life domains over a prolonged period of time.

Read More »

Suicide Awareness

Safeguarding theme of the month: Suicide Awareness Every Life Matters – Everyone needs support sometimes in their lives. WAIT – how you can help Prevention

Read More »

STOP hate Crime

Safeguarding theme of the month: STOP Hate Crime Stop Hate UK works alongside local strategic partnerships to tackle Hate Crime and discrimination, encourage reporting and

Read More »