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County Lines

Dear Parents/Carers

Following our last letter regarding County Lines which we sent in May we wanted to get back in
touch to remind you that you can still help.

County Lines is the term used to describe the networks of gangs and organised criminals who
export illegal drugs into other areas of the country, often smaller areas, using dedicated mobile
phone lines known as ‘deal lines.’

They exploit children and vulnerable people to move and store drugs and money. Often, they
do this using blackmail, intimidation and violence.

Staffordshire Police are working alongside our partners as part of a County Lines operation
which has two aims – to arrest members of organised crime gangs who target young and
vulnerable people, but also to identify young people who are at risk of criminality and to help
divert them away from criminal exploitation.

We are asking education establishments and parents to help identify young people who are at
risk of criminality, so they can be given help.

There are several signs to look out for that may indicate someone is involved in county lines:

  • repeatedly going missing from school or home and being found in other areas

  • having money, new clothes or electronic devices and they can't explain how they paid for them

  • getting high numbers of texts or phone calls, being secretive about who they're speaking to

  • decline in school or work performance

  • significant changes in emotional or physical well-being


We have produced a podcast which discusses the issue of County Lines and how support
networks including parents and carers can help to protect children from exploitation. To listen
to the podcast (episode 6) visit: https://thebeatpodcast.buzzsprout.com/

No one school in Staffordshire is more or less affected by these problems. We know that the
overwhelming majority of young people will never be affected by this issue but a conversation
with your child will help us collectively make a difference. It is critical that young people know
that there is help available if they are involved in County Lines activity and that they can get
support from home, school and agencies who work with young people.


You can find more information in the enclosed leaflet and on our website
here:  https://www.staffordshire.police.uk/countylines

Thank you for your support in this matter.


Best wishes,
Detective Superintendent Tom Chisholm, Head of Major & Organised Crime, Staffordshire Police
Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member for Communities & Culture
Mark Sutton, Cabinet Member for Children & Young People