Never heard of County Lines? It’s something you’re going to hear about a lot over the coming weeks. Sky News are giving a full days coverage to the subject today in an attempt to highlight the seriousness of the problem. For more information watch the feature “Line 18: Behind County Lines”from Sky News on Youtube at the top – report contains images of drug use and descriptions of violence. The report shows that drug dealing across County lines is worth £3m a day, so it’s not a wonder it’s a growing crime.
County lines is when criminals from major cities such as Liverpool, Manchester, London and Birmingham expand their drug networks to other areas of the country. This activity brings violence, exploitation and abuse to rural communities.
County Lines affects young people in all communities, including here in East Lancashire. Burnley Council work with other agencies, such as the police and social services to raise awareness and try and stop this kind of criminal activity and divert our young people from harm.
It isn’t just about the very young, vulnerable adults can also be draw in so we need to look around us and spot the warning signs.
The way to keep people safe is to ensure that there is safeguarding in place. It’s up to all of us to be vigilant and to stand up and not standby when we see something wrong. Look out for the signs in this article from REAL Rossendale.
You can find out more about the campaign on the Crimestoppers dedicated page.
There is also a page for young people to get more information on staying safe and getting help at Fearless.org.
There’s some great resources for parents on what to look out for on the Children’s Society website.
There’s a short BBC Investigation available to see here on iPlayer.
If you’d like some resources to display, look on the Government Website.
By Lian Pate
Labour Councillor for Brunshaw, Borough Executive Member for Community & Environmental Service, and Community Centre Manager