Thanks to funding from The Home Office, we will be working with charity Missing People to tackle the growing threat of county lines through a new pilot project in Kent.
County lines is when established drug gangs groom vulnerable young people to transport and deal drugs across different counties to target lucrative new drugs markets. Young people are lured in with promises of money, protection and status. Once involved, the reality is completely different. The promises of do not materialise and the young people are coerced into carrying out risky activities, often threatened with physical and sexual violence if they try to break away.
St Giles Trust has been using its intensive, peer-led approach used in the SOS Project’s work helping young people leave gangs to offer a lifeline to the young people involved in county lines. The consequences for all involved are often disastrous, with young people left traumatised by their experiences and their families ripped apart. Many have told us that St Giles Trust is often the only place they can turn to.
Alongside this new project, a Cardiff-based service tackling county lines activity in South Wales is now underway. Along with many other cities across the UK, Cardiff has seen an alarming growth in county lines activity in recent months. This service will help vulnerable young people in Cardiff who have been victims of it. Thanks to funding from Children in Need, we will be working in partnership with the police and other agencies to offer support to the young people concerned and link them up with other services. The work has just started and is already in high demand.