County Lines

County Lines

The term ‘County Lines’ is becoming a commonly used term within the context of working with children and young people. ‘County Lines’ is a term used when drug dealers, often from cities, start expanding into smaller towns and villages often using violence to force out locally established dealers. The gangs then exploit vulnerable children and young people by grooming and persuading them into trafficking and selling drugs.

There is evidence of county lines activity in 88% of UK police force regions. The Children’s Commissioner has estimated that there are at least 46,000 children involved in gangs and gang related crimes. Children as young as 12 have been found to be taking part in these operations. These children will travel away from home to traffic drugs on behalf of the gangs, resulting in them being regularly absent from school for short periods of time.

Do you know if one of the children in your care is being criminally exploited?

What can schools or community-based provisions do to help?

Training for Professionals

This course has been developed using an abundance of skills and experience working with children, young people and families. The course looks at the risk factors which make young people at risk of exploitation and how you can help safeguard and intervene using local services available to you.

The course looks at interpreting what we mean by ‘gang’, ‘county lines’ and ‘exploitation’. Resources and an information pack are included which can be used in the classroom setting or within the community. The course uses case studies, giving real insight into the harm and lifestyle that these vulnerable children and young people need protecting from.

There are two methods to complete the County Lines training course, a half day face to face training course and an e-Learning course.


This e-Learning course will guide you through a basic understanding of what County Lines is and how to support children and young people in seeking support to protect them from exploitation. Information and guidance, including key questions will be covered through an interactive online course. You will also be required to achieve an end point test, with an overall score of 80% to pass. The test will be a multiple-choice test reflecting on the knowledge you have gained from the course.

Face to Face Half Day Training

The face to face training allows the practitioner to discuss and reflect on County Lines, taking on board what is taught online but also encompassing current safeguarding practices. It is intended that the session will include an in-depth case study approach outlining the outcomes below.

What you will cover on the training:

  • Identify the historical and evolution of county lines, youth violence and gangs.
  • Recognise indicators and reasons you people get involved with county lines.
  • Talk about the role of young women, grooming, initiation and sexual exploitation.
  • Working within early intervention strategies, gaining insights into opportunities.
  • Examining the key components of gangs, the structures they work in and the impact of media, social media.
  • Explore available support and resources for young people in your area.
  • Safeguarding children and young people, including your role and responsibilities. 

You will also receive resources, information packs to take back to your setting to help support children and young people and to reassure them of safety measures to protect them from further harm.

Who is this training for?

This course is for Teachers, Early Years Leaders, Youth Workers, Children’s Family Support Workers and Community, Charity Practitioners.