Last week I asked the Attorney General about the treatment of young people involved in a form of criminal exploitation known as ‘county lines’. County lines is when gangs and organised crime networks exploit vulnerable young people by taking them across county lines to establish drug dealing networks in a new area.
Often, but not always, these children are homeless, living in care, or in poverty and are targeted because the gangs are able to take advantage of them. There needs to be recognition that these young people are victims who have been subject to grooming, beatings and exploitation so they can be offered support and, where appropriate, a place of refuge where gangs members cannot get to them. I am pleased that the Attorney General’s response acknowledged this.
For more information and to be able to tell the sign of children suffering from county lines exploitation please see this link on the Children’s Society website –https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/what-is-county-lines