County lines is where illegal drugs are transported from one area to another, often across police and local 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 order of drugs. Importing areas (areas where the drugs are taken to) are reporting increased levels of violence and weapon related crimes as a result of this trend.
During the pandemic TIK TOK was used for celebrating violent acts and the recruitment of young people and children into gangs to work in within the county lines culture.
* Females are just as prominent as males at being recruited by gangs.
SPOTTING THE SIGNS
- Unexplained gifts
- decline in school grades
- multiple mobile phones
- change in mood
- possession of unexplained money
- unexplained injuries
- truancy from school
- going missing from home for periods of time
- carrying weapons
- mentioning gang names
- taking calls and then leaving suddenly