Eyes Open (County Lines)
Gangs are exploiting kids in our area.
What is child exploitation?
When someone you feel you trust, forces or encourages you to do things which cause harm.
They may want you to commit a crime for their benefit. You might be forced to:
- sell drugs
- carry a knife or weapon
- store drugs or money
- commit theft, robbery or burglary
- engage in sexual activity
- look after weed grown in a house
What are the signs?
It can happen face-to-face or online.
They will gain your trust and might:
- glamourise their lifestyle
- convince you that you’re mates or in a relationship
- give you gifts, such as money, clothes, drugs or alcohol
- offer you somewhere to stay
- try and find out more about you so they can ‘help you out’
- force you to do something to owe them for the gifts or ‘protection’ they’ve given you
It can be difficult to spot as it usually happens gradually over time.
It is not your fault.
What are 'County Lines?'
County Lines are the phone lines that drug dealers use to sell drugs around the country.
Young people are exploited into selling drugs where they live and in towns outside of their area. They might be missing from home or school for days or weeks to sell drugs.
Are you worried about someone?
Young people can be exploited with the initial excitement of having new friends who ‘look out for them’, they might buy them new gifts, take them away from home or their friends.
Once trust has been gained, exploitation begins. Child exploitation can look like many things – drugs, sexual grooming, carrying weapons, and being forced to commit crimes.
Help and Support
Are you caught up in gang culture and want a way out? Are you worried a mate or loved one? There is help out there.
If you are in a situation where you need help or are concerned about someone, practical information about your options can be found on our Gangs page.
The St Giles Trust can help you find a path out of gang life. Support is available for all the family too.
You can give information anonymously at Crimestoppers.
Visit Childline or call 0800 1111 for help and advice.
Remember you can also speak to an adult you trust, such as your teacher or a family member.
There are people that want to help you.
Help us raise awareness by downloading, printing and displaying our campaign posters.