Exploitation and county lines

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

About exploitation

Lots of 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 to family and talk you if you don’t feel safe. We’re here for you if you need to talk to someone, and we’re here for any families or 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.

For young people - SafeCall

SafeCall is a confidential, non-judgemental, specialist support service for young people and their families living in England and Wales, who are worried about or affected by county lines. We won’t judge you, or tell you what to do – we can listen, offer advice and help you to be safe.

For young people - Runaway Helpline

If you’re a young person and you are in a gang, or being pressured to commit crime for others, our Runaway Helpline is here to help.

For families

If you are worried that your child is being criminally exploited, particularly if this is leading to them going missing, we can support you.

For professionals

We can make contact with a young person you’re working with, or their family, if they need support around county lines.

Information for families and carers

Read more about county lines, and understand how to spot the signs that your child could be being exploited by a gang.

There are things that you can do if you are worried about a young person who is missing and may be being exploited.

We can help

We know that it can be hard to ask for help or find the right help. People tell us that one of the biggest problems is how alone you can feel. We know talking to the police is not easy and we offer an alternative, our SafeCall team will listen, won't judge and will advise you in confidence.

Read more about our free and confidential support for anyone affected, young people and families, by exploitation and county lines.

Find out about a free, nationwide support group for families and carers who know how it feels to be worried about a child who is being exploited.

Other helpful stuff