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The socioeconomic effects of organised crimes county lines on the United Kingdom community


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Abstract

County lines is the transport of class a drugs from an urban city to a costal/rural town, this is achieved by a network of dedicated mobile phone lines. The groups use serious violence,  intimidation  and  coercion  to  recruit  vulnerable  people,  primarily  children  who  will then transport the drugs to the desired area, as well as taking over their home through ‘cuckooing’. The rise of crime within the United Kingdom over the last 5 years can be linked to the expanding county line groups and the extreme violence they use to intimidate individuals, the soaring figures of knife crime and under 18 hospital admissions due to stabbing related injuries. The groups are difficult to follow due to the different transport routes available and how rapidly lines can be replaced to evade law enforcement. The under reporting of these crimes as well as the lack of public knowledge has led to the amount of lines doubling in size in the last 2 years, in order to combat this, vulnerable individuals should be safeguarded to prevent recruitment, as well as raising public awareness to increase public reporting and therefore increasing the amount of intelligence available to the police. 

Keywords

county lines, modern slavery, heroine, crack cocaine, urban street gangs, organised crime, drug supply, drug runners, addiction

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