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County Lines is a term used to describe gangs, groups or drug networks that supply drugs from urban to suburban areas across the country, including market and coastal towns, using dedicated mobile phone lines or ‘deal lines.

They exploit children and vulnerable adults to move the drugs and money to and from the urban area, and to store the drugs in local markets.  They will often use intimidation, violence, and weapons, including knives, corrosives, and firearms.

County lines is a major, cross-cutting issue involving drugs, violence, gangs, safeguarding, criminal and sexual exploitation, modern slavery, and missing persons; and the response to tackle it involves the police, the National Crime Agency, a wide range of Government departments, local government agencies and voluntary and community sector organisations.

County lines activity and the associated violence, drug dealing, and exploitation has a devastating impact on young people, vulnerable adults, and local communities.

Further information can be found here:

Child Criminal Exploitation - Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board - Parents Against Child Exploitation.  Working with parents & carers of children who are at risk of being exploited by perpetrators