County Lines

Published: 07 March 2023

County lines is the name given to drug dealing where organised criminal groups (OCGs) use phone lines to move and supply drugs, usually from cities into smaller towns and rural areas.

They exploit vulnerable people, including children and those with mental health or addiction issues, by recruiting them to distribute the drugs, often referred to as ‘drug running’.

Signs to look out for
  • 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
If you’re concerned about drug-related crime in your area or think someone may be a victim of drug exploitation, please call us on 101. If it's an emergency, please call 999. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use our textphone service 18000.