Benjamin Britten Academy of Music & Mathematics

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Safeguarding - County Lines

County Lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas within the UK, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of ‘deal line’.

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 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.

County lines activity and the associated violence, drug dealing and exploitation has a devastating impact on young people, vulnerable adults and local communities.

Children who have been criminally or sexually exploited or who are vulnerable to exploitation may exhibit these signs and behaviours:

What to do if you have concerns

The best advice is to trust your instincts. Even if someone isn't involved in county lines drug dealing, they may be being exploited in some other way, so it's always worth speaking out.

You can speak to your local police by dialling 101, or in an emergency 999.

If you would rather remain anonymous, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Useful links

Suffolk police



Childline is private and confidential service where you can talk to specially trained counsellors about anything that is worrying you on 0800 1111

The childrens society 

The childrens society provide specialist support that empowers young people to make positive changes and rediscover their hope.



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Safeguarding - Child Exploitation (CCE)and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

Safeguarding - Anti-bullying Ambassadors

Safeguarding - Gender Identity Discrimination

Peer on Peer/Child on Child Abuse

Safeguarding - Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health

Safeguarding - Domestic Abuse

Safeguarding - Preventing Radicalisation and Extremism

Safeguarding - FGM and Honour Based Violence

Safeguarding - Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Safeguarding - Early Help







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