Age Group

14-18 year olds

Year Group

Key Stage 3 / 4


60 minutes

Group Size

1 - 300

Resource Pack?


Follow Up Workshop

Request details

Digital Version?


Overview of County Lines

‘County lines’ is a term used to describe child criminal exploitation (CCE) where gangs and organised crime networks groom and exploit children to partake in illegal activity. The Children’s Commissioner estimates there are at least 46,000 children in England who are involved in gang activity. This is a significant threat to the safety and well-being of our young people. Our production reinforces the National Crime Agency’s key strategy of early intervention. ‘County Lines: Illuminating the Darkness’ demonstrates how male and female victims can be implicated in illegal activity.

The story focuses on the lives of Matty and Cassie.

Matty’s a teenager who is just trying to help his Dad to pay the bills. Cassie’s a popular girl who is unafraid to speak her mind. We follow their lives as they become entangled in a world of criminality and exploitation. When Cassie and Matty become aware of the danger they are in, it is too late.

Our production was created alongside Blackpool Council’s safety team, young people aged 11-19 from various situations and backgrounds, and professionals who work across the North West. ‘County Lines: Illuminating the Darkness’ reveals the severe impact criminal and sexual exploitation is having on the lives of young people across the UK.
- Raise awareness of CCE and CSE associated with county lines.
- Build resilience against involvement in county lines operations.
- Recognise the signs and behaviour of someone who may be involved in county lines.
- Help audiences understand the grooming process used in criminal exploitation.
- Signpost local support organisations and services.
- Understanding self-esteem changes with personal circumstances.
- Recognising and reducing risk, getting help in risky situations.
- Inappropriate use of phones.
- Misuse of drugs and alcohol (peer influence, personal and social risks, consumption)
- Managing different influences.
- Qualities, behaviours and features of positive relationships and unhealthy relationships.
- Different types of relationships.
- Different levels of intimacy.
- How drugs and alcohol affect sexual behaviour.
- Consent.
- Recognising bullying and abuse in all its forms.
- Support services available should they feel abused or in an unhealthy relationship.
- Recognising peer pressure (in relation to alcohol and drugs).
- Carrying an offensive weapon.
- Difference between friendship groups and gangs- managing pressure and support.
- Recognising when others are using manipulation, persuasion or coercion and how to respond.
- Peers supporting one another.
- Challenging their own core values and how they influence their choices.
- Assessing and managing risk in relation to financial decisions (social and moral decisions).
- Gambling.

Key Themes