The below definition for County Lines was featured in the Programme Challenger ‘Serious and Organised Crime Strategy for Greater Manchester 2018-2020’. We really like it because it simplifies and demystifies County Lines into a really easy to understand definition:
“County Lines” is a national term used by police and law enforcement to commonly describe the approach taken by gangs and criminal networks originating from urban areas, who travel to locations such as county or coastal towns to sell class A drugs. Gangs typically use children, young people and vulnerable adults to deliver drugs to customers and this often involves the child being subjected to deception, intimidation, violence, financial exploitation and grooming. The county lines business model is linked by a marketed mobile phone line through which users phone for specific drugs to be supplied. County Lines scenarios may also involve ‘Cuckooing’, which involves gangs and criminal networks taking over the home of a vulnerable person and using their property as a base to store drugs, firearms and often run their criminal activity.
Although not the official definition we think it covers all the points and is really easy to understand. We hope others find it useful too.