What is county lines?

County lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas in the UK, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of ‘deal line’. They are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults to move and store the drugs and money, and they will often use coercion, intimidation, violence and weapons. Gangs based in cities like London are targeting the most vulnerable people in small towns across the country to sell class A drugs on their behalf.

Image of a young person, with the words children and vulnerable adults are being used by drug dealers across the country to courier drugs and money. This crime is known as county lines.

What to do if you suspect county lines?

If you have any concerns of county lines in your community you can contact our Customer Services Team.
If you, or someone you know, is in danger, always call 999.


Drug dealers will often take over the homes of vulnerable people as they use it as a base to deal drugs in the area. The vulnerable person may be being kept inside against their will.

  • Have you noticed more people calling at an address? Sometimes at unsociable hours?
  • Have you noticed a neighbour has not been seen for a while?
  • Are there suspicious smells coming from an address?
  • Are there suspicious or unfamiliar vehicles outside the address? Cuckooing could be taking place. Look out for your neighbours and report suspicions to 101. You can also contact Homes in Sedgemoor on 0800 585 360 or 01278 552400 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm to report any issues. You can also remain anonymous.

How to spot possible victims:

  • There are several signs to look out for when someone has been lured into this activity, these include:
  • Change in behaviour
  • Signs of assault and/or malnutrition
  • Access to numerous phones
  • Use of unusual terms e.g. going country
  • Associating with gangs
  • Unexplained bus or train tickets
  • School truancy or going missing
  • Unexplained gifts (clothes, trainers) and cash

How to report cuckooing?

If you have an concerns that you, or someone you know, is being cuckooed please contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Or visit the Crimestoppers website for more information.