Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
Yesterday at Home Office Questions, I raised the issue of county lines, a type of exploitation where organised gangs manipulate vulnerable young people into criminal activity, often by sending them over county lines to deal drugs in a new area.
Children who have been excluded from school are especially at risk, and too often children who have been affected in the past are housed back in the same area where gangsters are able to take advantage of them again.
I welcome the fact that the Government is treating the children affected as victims of modern slavery and not as criminals themselves, but am asking what more they can do to protect children. The Minister gave some welcome assurances, but I want to see this being given the priority it deserves, before any more children’s lives are ruined.