County Lines is a term used to describe the activity of Organised Criminal Gangs (OCGs) who export illegal drugs from cities, across county borders and into smaller towns and rural areas.
Dedicated mobile phone lines or ‘deal lines’ are used to receive orders and instruct others where to deliver drugs.
The County Lines business model involves the exploitation of children and vulnerable people. They are recruited to move and store drugs and money, maximising profits and reducing risk to the OCG.
Those recruited often don't see themselves as victims or realise they have been groomed to get involved in criminality. Or they may feel trapped in a hopeless and dangerous situation they are unable to leave.
That’s why it's important to understand County Lines and speak out if we have concerns.