Exploitation and county lines

Where young and vulnerable people are coerced into transporting illegal drugs from one area to another.

About exploitation

Lots of young people find themselves involved with gangs, or facing pressure to commit crimes for other people. Some young people go missing because they are ‘going country’; travelling away from home to sell drugs.

We know that it is hard to walk away from this. We can help get messages home from young people to family members, and talk about ways to stay safe. We can support families and carers who are worrying about someone who is caught up in a gang or selling drugs.

We’re here to support you, for free and in confidence. Call or text 116 000

Talk to us


Whoever you are, we provide support and guidance around exploitation and county lines.

Support for young people

Our Runaway Helpline website provides resources, support and guidance for young people around varies issues, including exploitation. You can also find information about or specialist SafeCall service. We won’t judge you, or tell you what to do – we can listen, offer advice and help you to be safe.

Support for families and carers

If you are worried that your child is being criminally exploited, particularly if this is leading to them going missing, we can support you. Read more about how to spot the signs, and ways in which we can help you and your family.

Services for professionals

We provide specialist services for people affected by exploitation. We can make contact with a young person you’re working with, or their family, if they need support around county lines.


We know that it can be hard to find or ask for the right help, and we understand that talking to the police is not easy. Read more about exploitation and the services we can offer.

Read more about what exploitation and county lines actually means.

Read more about our specialist service, SafeCall, that supports exploited young people and their family members.

Other helpful stuff