County Lines Spotlight Week of Action

18 October 2022
two members of the Detached Youth Work team standing in front of a table and looking at the camera
Mike Holbrook and Gary Atkinson from the Detached Youth Work Team

A busy week of action has taken place involving a range of partners to highlight County Lines Spotlight Week.

County Lines is a form of criminal activity in which drug dealing gangs establish networks for the supply and sale of drugs to users in towns and rural areas. These criminal gangs use children and vulnerable people to carry, store, and sell the drugs.

Throughout the week, breakfast spotlight sessions were delivered to a wide array of professionals involved in supporting children, giving them an insight into County Lines. This included which signs to look out for if they think a child is being exploited, how to support that child and where to share those concerns.

As well as the spotlight sessions, Wirral Council’s Detached Youth Work team engaged with young people at their ‘Safe Space’ pop ups across Wirral. These pop ups are an opportunity for staff to speak to young people about their experience or knowledge of exploitation issues and highlighting the resources that are available to them, over 90 young people engaged at the Birkenhead and Central Park sessions.

Also packed in during the week of action were ‘In the Zone’ partnership education events held at local high schools. These were led by Wirral’s Youth Justice and Exploitation Services; and had a focus on County Lines - raising awareness through direct engagement with students. This reached over 130 young people across Wirral, who are now better equipped to help themselves and others stay safe.

More information and resources are available for young people in Wirral through ZILLO.

ZILLO is a website which shares local information on the latest events, arts, culture, news and expert health and wellbeing advice and was created by Wirral Council’s Children’s Services in partnership with students and staff from Wirral Metropolitan College.