9 July 2021
09:30 – 16:00

A one-day course

County lines is the police term for urban gangs supplying drugs to suburban areas and market and coastal towns using dedicated mobile phone lines or “deal lines”. It involves child criminal exploitation (CCE) as gangs use children and vulnerable people to move drugs and money. Gangs establish a base in the market location, typically by taking over the homes of local vulnerable adults by force or coercion in a practice referred to as ‘cuckooing’.

County lines activity and the associated violence, drug dealing and exploitation has a devastating impact on young people, vulnerable adults and local communities. It involves using children as drugs mules (carrying drugs for others), children being trafficked within the UK, the young people being trapped by drug use (dependence), debts owed to the gang leaders and or the threat of violence. The young people can be drawn in through the allure of money, kinship and status, and do not recognise they are being groomed (often by other young people) or recognise their exploitation by others. The glamour and exciting soon turning to isolation and fear.

Course aims:

  • The history of gangs
  • How county lines work
  • Gangs and the law
  • Current trends in substance misuse
  • Cuckooing
  • Child Sexual Exploitation
  • How to spot signs and symptoms
  • How to support young people
  • Referral routes

Who the course is aimed at:

County lines is a major, cross-cutting issue involving drugs, violence, gangs, safeguarding, criminal and sexual exploitation, modern slavery, and missing persons; and the response to tackle it involves the police, the National Crime Agency, a wide range of Government departments, local government agencies and VCS (voluntary and community sector) organisations. The course is aimed at being a full guide for practitioners working with young people in and leaving care; youth justice; substance misuse; supported accommodation and housing associations.

About the trainer

Mike Mainwaring has worked with Children and Young People for over 20 years. Specialising in substance misuse, youth homelessness, participation and children’s rights. He is a qualified trainer and has trained children, young people and adults on substance misuse, LGBT issues, children’s rights, participation, dealing with difficult behaviour, safeguarding and child protection, Child Sexual Exploitation and boundaries. He has also developed and run youth lead research projects. He has worked in various settings such as street drug projects, residential rehabilitation, outreach work, play, youth work, managed housing projects and run youth councils. He has an art background, working with young people in distress through the medium of art and exhibiting his own work about social issues.