Criminal exploitation in the form of county lines has a devastating impact on those affected and we must work together to identify and safeguard the victims and potential victims of this form of exploitation as early as possible.
Our Serious Violence Strategy sets out our approach to tackling county lines and its related exploitation and through this we have delivered a range of action to enhance our approach to tackling this issue.
This includes providing £3.6m for a new National County Lines Co-ordination Centre. Launched in September 2018 the NCLCC has already led three separate weeks of law enforcement ‘intensification’ leading to 1600 arrests and safeguarding of over 2100 individuals. Through the Early Intervention Youth Fund we are also funding 10 projects with a specific county lines focus to support victims and potential victims of this exploitation. We have also worked to increase awareness of county lines exploitation amongst those best placed to spot it and have published guidance for frontline professionals on how to identify potential victims of county lines and appropriate referral routes.
We welcome the report published by the Children’s Society and will consider its findings carefully as we continue to develop and strengthen our response to county lines.