Surrey Police are actively promoting information to safeguard children from County Lines.

Reigate School works in partnership with all agency partners to ensure children are kept safe and aware of the dangers surrounding safeguarding risks outside of their home and school environment (contextual safeguarding).

Surrey Police state that:

The organised crime networks involved in county lines use young people to keep themselves distanced from the criminal act of physically dealing drugs. Young people do the majority of the work and take the most risk. You might hear them refer to it as “running a line” or “going country”. Teenagers of all ages can be involved, and there are reports of children as young as 12 involved.

Factors that make a county lines gang more likely to target, groom and exploit a child include:

• Previous neglect, physical and/or sexual abuse
• Social isolation or social difficulties
• Poverty
• Homelessness or insecure accommodation status
• Connections with other people involved in gangs
• Having a learning disability
• Having mental health problems
• Having substance misuse issues
• Being in care or having a history of being in care
• Being excluded from mainstream education

Signs to watch out for:

• Withdrawn from family or friends
• Staying out unusually late or going missing from school, home or care
• Sudden loss of interest in school and decline in academic performance
• Travelling to/being found in places they have no obvious connection to
• Acquiring cash or expensive new possessions such as clothes, jewellery and mobile phones without being able to account for them
• Receiving excessive texts and calls at all hours of the day, and carrying multiple phone handsets or sim cards
• Starting to use new or unknown slang words, a new nickname or an interest or association with gang culture
• Sudden change in appearance
• Unexplained physical injuries
• Carrying weapons
• Constantly talking about someone who seems to have a lot of influence over them, often someone older than them
• Breaking off with old friends and hanging around with one group of people
• Self-harming or having significant changes in their mental health

What can you do?

• Charities such as The Children’s Society, Safe 4 Me, Fearless and the NSPCC can offer support and advice.
• If your child goes missing and you think they might be involved in county lines, contact police straightaway and tell us that you think they are being trafficked for criminal exploitation. You don’t have to wait 24 hours to report them missing.
• Even if someone isn't involved in county lines drug dealing, they may be being exploited in some other way, so it's always worth raising your concerns.
• You can DM Surrey Police via social media platforms (Facebook pages) or report online via their website:
• In an emergency, always call 999.
• If you would rather not speak to police, you can call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.