Tackling the County Lines Problem: The Power of Parent Support Groups

Concept Claim Solutions and a Local Council Complex Safeguarding team have joined forces to establish a support group for parents affected by County Lines. This initiative represents a small but significant step towards tackling the isolation and the stigma associated with this issue. The primary objective of this group is to offer a secure and empathetic environment for parents to connect with other individuals who have undergone similar experiences. This is the first of its kind in the region.

County Lines refers to the exploitation of vulnerable adults and children by criminal gangs to transport and sell drugs. These gangs use tactics such as coercion, intimidation, and violence to make children believe they have no other choice but to comply with their demands. This problem is increasing across the UK, and it has a devastating impact on families and communities.

A report by The Children’s Society titled “Counting Lives: Responding To Children Who Are Criminally Exploited” highlights that any child can fall victim to County Lines gangs. Parents are often unaware of their children’s involvement until they are heavily involved in the activity, and then they struggle to find help for themselves and their children.

Collaboration between partners, particularly in information sharing, is vital to protect children from the dangers of County Lines. During the group sessions, we will work closely with professionals and multiple agencies to ensure that parents have access to the right information. County Lines is a complex issue, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

At Concept Claim Solutions, we are dedicated to increasing awareness of the heinous crime and helping the children and families affected by it. Over the coming year, we will be doing all we can to back Pace, a national charity that supports parents and carers whose children are being sexually and criminally exploited by offenders outside of the family. Together, we can make a difference and create a brighter future for our communities.

If you are a parent or caregiver affected by County Lines, we encourage you to reach out and connect with the Pace. They provide independent, non-judgmental and confidential support, which fully recognises your rights as a parent and your decisions on how to reduce the risk of harm to your child.

For further information and to get in touch with Pace visit their website: Parents Against Child Exploitation (Pace) UK (paceuk.info) or call: 0113 240 3040