Policy in focus: Tackling county lines
Building new partnerships and changing perceptions – does government need a fresh approach to reducing county lines activity?
Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Archive/PA Images
As the number of gangs reported to the police grows, doubling from 1,500 in 2018 to 3,000 in 2019, so too does the challenge of county lines – the term used to describe how gangs from big cities expand their operations to smaller towns, often using violence to drive out local dealers and exploiting vulnerable people to transport drugs and money.
Reducing these numbers and protecting vulnerable young people will require close co-operation between police forces, local authorities, policy-makers and voluntary groups – but despite the creation of a National County Lines Co-ordination centre in 2019, there are still many barriers to this work.
In the first of a partnership between CSW and Westminster Briefing, we spoke to Joe Russo – chief executive of the Enthusiasm Trust and an expert on county lines – to explore what policy-makers need to know about tackling this serious and growing problem.
Russo will be speaking at a Westminster Briefing event on tackling the continuing rise of County Lines Gangs, taking place on 29th October
Westminster Briefing is a brand of CSW’s publisher Dods Group. It provides a wide variety of services include briefings, summits and training events.
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