County Lines is the term for when gangs traffic drugs out of cities into smaller towns and rural areas. They recruit vulnerable children by befriending them and giving them gifts. Very soon, the children ‘owe’ money or favours to the gang and end up transporting the drugs at great personal risk in order to repay them, which of course they can never do. County Lines are worth tens of thousands of pounds: violence, including knife crime, is used to protect their assets
Gangs use children as young as 8 – younger than the age of criminal responsibility.