New NCA Intelligence Assessment – County Lines

The National Crime Agency have this week published their fourth annual assessment on county lines, which incorporates the exploitation and criminalisation of children and is covered in our latest course for professionals. Through the county lines model children can be exploited to run drugs to buyers, cut/bag drugs, collect debts, cuckoo premises and conduct crimes such as shoplifting to boost the perpetrators’ drug funds.

Key aspects of the assessment include:

– Children are being recruited both face-to-face and via social media by perpetrators who offer money or material incentives
– Schools have been highlighted as key locations for recruitment
– Children aged 15-17 constitute the most referrals, however it is known that children as young as 11 have been affected
– Children are being threatened with violence against themselves and their families in order to continue relationships with the perpetrators
– Perpetrators are exploiting trafficked children in order to drive down their costs
– Children are being sexually exploited by the same criminals who are using them for county lines exploitation (sometimes for the perpetrators’ financial gain).

The assessment is further proof that child exploitation does not exist within silos. This is confirmed by our frontline workers who support the families of children that have been exploited in numerous ways. The sooner we share our learnings with professionals who may encounter those affected by county lines, the sooner we can all start to tackle this urgent child safeguarding concern.

Our new Advanced Child Exploitation course covers the four most pressing areas of child exploitation (county lines, trafficking, radicalisation and CSE) that have been highlighted by the agencies we work with and the evidence of our workers who interact daily with the families of exploited children. The course is led by Pace with speakers from the National Counter Trafficking Service, St Giles Trust and a national security firm.

Our first course sold out and there are limited places left on our next two courses.
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