County Lines is a form of criminal exploitation in which criminals groom and manipulate children and vulnerable adults to recruit them as runners to transport drugs and cash all over the country, so that the criminals behind it can remain detached and less likely to be detected.
This crime is often associated with other serious crimes such as sexual exploitation, violence, money laundering, modern slavery and human trafficking. The ‘lines’ refer to mobile phones that are used to control a person who is delivering drugs, often to towns outside their home county.
Any young person can be exploited. There is no stereotypical victim of criminal exploitation though young people, male and female, aged 14-17 are most likely to be targeted by criminal groups.
Primary school children are seen as easy targets because they’re less likely to get caught and there are reports of seven-year-olds being groomed into county lines. The grooming might start with them being asked to ‘keep watch’ but it soon escalates to them being forced to stash weapons, money, or become drug couriers.
(Source – https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/county-lines)
About the Speaker
Leo Powell is one of the UK’s leading County Lines trainers, demonstrating a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the area of gangs, grooming, exploitation and more.
Leo has also developed a comprehensive County Lines Training Programme that he delivers to organisations, churches, practitioners, parents, youth workers and more.
Leo began working with young people in 2010, where he was first invited to become a volunteer Youth Leader for Jubilee Church London in Enfield. Over the years, Leo has pastorally supported, and mentored numerous young people, and has proven himself as a positive and influential role model within a church context and the community of Enfield.
Leo’s work in the area of County Lines has gained huge traction, where he has been awarded funding through MOPAC, the Mayor of London’s Young Londoner’s Fund and the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Action Fund.
Leo’s desire, drive and determination to see change in this generation is evident in every area of work he is involved with. He is passionate and purposeful in his pursuit to improve the outcomes of young people, and he hopes that his work will inspire and influence for many years to come.
Leo Powell will be leading a 2 hour “Understanding County Lines” training session on Saturday 20th August starting at 11am. The event will be held at MKCC, Strudwick Drive, Oldbrook, Milton Keynes MK6 2TG.
Topics covered during the event include:
- What County Lines is
- The phone lines
- The homes
- County Lines terminology
- How to spot the signs
- What parents can do
- How parents can report County Lines
- How young people can report County Lines
- and many more items of relevance to parents and young people.
To register your interest and book a place at the event click the button below.