Past Events

County Lines and Child Criminal Exploitation: Breaking the Cycle of Violence, Coercion and Abuse

Date:     Wednesday 19th May 2021

Time:     10:00am - 2:15pm

Venue:  ONLINE Live Webinar

  • Event Abstract
  • Programme
  • Key Speakers
  • Who Should Attend?
  • Marketing Opportunities

Tackling the criminal exploitation of vulnerable children and young people is a complex issue – many children and young people find their way into gang culture as a result of coercion, control and grooming by gang elders from ‘County Lines Gangs’, which are working on an estimated 2000 deal lines across the UK. Unfortunately, vulnerable children and young people, including those at-risk of exclusion, in pupil referral units (PRUs), or in care are acknowledged to be disproportionally vulnerable to being groomed. These risk-factors have only been heightened since the start of the pandemic, with multiple lockdowns and rise in poverty and economic deprivation making vulnerable young people more susceptible to exploitation than ever before.

Recognising the urgent need to take action, the Government has pledged £25m over the next two years to improve the law enforcement response to county lines and to increase specialist support for children, young people and their families who are affected. Additionally, the £22m Early Intervention Youth Fund is currently funding 10 projects aimed at addressing the criminal exploitation of vulnerable children and young people. Unfortunately, funding alone will not solve this problem – increased coordination and data sharing between local authorities and the police is crucial to have the tools to identify, safeguard and support vulnerable young people, who are already involved in or are at-risk of exploitation by county lines gangs.

This Policy Foresight live webinar offers a timely opportunity to understand the current national picture on county lines and child criminal exploitation (CCE). Participants will hear from expert speakers from the police, local authorities, third sector and other key statutory agencies. The webinar will explore innovative solutions to disrupt county lines gangs, enhance safeguarding frameworks and improve multi-agency working to proactively tackle the criminal exploitation of vulnerable children and young people during this pandemic and beyond.

Why Attend?

  • Live webinar featuring presentations and panel discussions with a wide range of policymakers and key officials
  • Acquire best practice from experts working to disrupt county lines and CCE
  • Interactive Question Time sessions with opportunities to engage with all speakers
  • Gather knowledge to enhance existing frameworks, procedures, processes and toolkits
  • Share ideas with fellow participants from the police, local authorities, education, third sector and other key statutory agencies
  • On Demand – Exclusive access to speaker presentations, event recording and post-event resources

  • Guidance - 12th February 2021: County Lines Exploitation: Applying All Our Health

    Latest News - 8th March 2021: £130.5 million to tackle serious violence, murder and knife crime


    Delegate Online Login


    Introduction by Webinar Organiser


    Chair's Welcome and Opening Remarks


    Keynote Session: A National Overview

  • Understanding the current scale of county lines and how gangs have adapted during the Covid-19 crisis and in response to existing law enforcement tactics
  • Embedding a consistent national approach to tackling county lines gangs
  • Effectively utilising current legislation and legal frameworks including the Modern Slavery Act and National Referral Mechanism (NRM) to protect young people from criminal exploitation

  • 10:30am

    Keynote Session: Questions and Discussion


    Comfort Break


    Panel Session One:

    County Lines and Child Criminal Exploitation – The Current Picture

  • Analysing current trends in County Lines and how those affect the criminal exploitation of young people
  • Exploring the move towards the ‘local franchise model’ where grooming, recruitment and exploitation is happening in ‘county bases’
  • Identifying the vulnerabilities of those most at-risk of being targeted by county lines gangs: children in care, those at-risk of exclusion or in alternative provision or Pupil Referral Units (PRUs)
  • Moving towards a consistent operational approach that balances enforcement with safeguarding

  • 11:35am

    Panel Session One: Questions and Discussion


    Comfort Break


    Panel Session Two:

    Embedding More Effective Early Intervention Strategies

  • Designing effective safeguarding strategies that take into account the existing vulnerabilities of children and young people including adverse childhood experiences (ACES)
  • Enhancing child protection: Adopting contextual safeguarding and community-based approaches
  • Improving the identification and support of ‘at-risk’ individuals and those already involved with County Lines gangs
  • Embedding culturally competent support into early intervention programmes that steer children and young people away from exploitation

  • 12:45pm

    Panel Session Two: Questions and Discussion


    Comfort Break


    Panel Session Three:

    Strengthening the Multi-Agency Response

  • Utilising the ‘public health approach’ between local authorities, the police, health and education to develop a comprehensive strategy that effectively addresses local needs and trends
  • Establishing cross-border partnerships to combat county lines gangs and criminal exploitation
  • Improving data sharing: strengthening cooperation between police and local authorities to better identify and protect victims
  • Delivering targeted victim-focussed support: breaking the cycle of violence and safeguarding young people from further exploitation

  • 1:50pm

    Panel Session Three: Questions and Discussion


    Final Questions and Chair's Summary & Closing Comments


    End of Online Seminar

    *Please note the programme and timings are subject to slight alteration without notice


    Duncan Evans, NPCC County Lines Lead for Child Exploitation, National County Lines Coordination Centre

    Merseyside Police

    Detective Superintendent Andy O’Connor, County Lines Lead, Merseyside Police


    Amanda Naylor, Assistant Director for Impact, Barnardo’s

    Crest Advisory

    Joe Caluori, Head of Policy and Research, Crest Advisory

    St Giles Trust

    Junior Smart OBE, Founder and Gangs/CCE Lead, SOS Gangs Project; St Giles Trust

    Rochdale BC

    Rozanne Stevens, Practice Manager, Contextual Safeguarding and Sunrise Team, Rochdale Borough Council

    Rescue and Response Project

    William Willson, Operations Manager, Rescue and Response County Lines Project

    University of Bedfordshire

    Professor John Pitts, Director, Vauxhall Centre for the Study of Crime, University of Bedfordshire

    Key Education Centre

    Ollie Ward, Transition and Outreach Lead, The Key Education Centre


    Matthew Scott, Director, TONIC

    • Local Authority Officers & Councillors
    • Central Government Departments & Agencies
    • Directors of Children’s Service
    • Local Safeguarding Children Boards
    • Safeguarding & Child Protection Teams
    • Children & Family Services
    • CAMHS Practitioners
    • NHS Health Workers
    • Family & Parental Support Workers
    • Domestic Violence Co-ordinators
    • Troubled Families Teams
    • Community Safety Teams
    • YOS/YOT Managers & Members
    • Police Authorities
    • Police & Crime Commissioners
    • Police Youth Engagement Officers
    • Neighbourhood Policing Officers & Practitioners
    • Organised Crime Police Teams
    • Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs)
    • Anti-Social Behaviour Coordinators
    • Drug & Alcohol Action Teams
    • Youth & Community Workers
    • Youth Inclusion Officers
    • Community Safety Officers & Managers
    • Crime & Disorder Reduction Partnerships
    • YOI Governors & Managers
    • Probation Officers & Managers
    • Offender Managers
    • Local Criminal Justice Boards
    • Criminal Justice Liaison Teams
    • Youth Inclusion & Support Panel Members
    • Chairs & Chiefs of Probation Boards
    • Social Workers
    • Head Teachers, Deputy Heads & Assistant Heads
    • Pupil Referral Units
    • Education Welfare Services
    • Local Education Authorities
    • Community Psychology & Mentoring Services
    • Court Service, Judges & Magistrates
    • Criminologists
    • Diversity & Equality Officers
    • Voluntary & Community Organisations
    • Academics & Researchers

    We are delighted to offer a range of sponsorship, exhibition and marketing opportunities across our portfolio of public policy events**. Whether you're interested in headline sponsorship or a simple delegate pack insert, we can provide tailor-made solutions to help deliver your profile-raising, communication and marketing strategies. We also provide subsidised rates for public sector and non-commercial organisations and are always keen to develop mutually beneficial partnership arrangements.

    **Not available for ONLINE events

    For more information or to discuss the options available, please get in touch with the events team on 01753 373096, or email:

    Example packages include:

      Headline Sponsor Package:
    • 15 minute speaking slot within afternoon panel session followed by ‘Question Time’ debate with attendees
    • Headline branding on event webpage with URL link
    • Headline branding on all pre-event marketing campaigns including brochures and email bulletins
    • Headline branding on delegate pack, lectern, directional signage and event holding slide
    • Profile in delegate pack
    • 3m x 2m exhibition space in refreshment area
    • Insert in delegate pack
    • 4 delegate places plus speaker
      Partner Sponsor Package:
    • Partner Branding on event webpage with URL link
    • Partner branding on all pre-event marketing campaigns including brochures and email bulletins
    • Partner branding on delegate pack, lectern, directional signage and event holding slide
    • Profile in delegate pack
    • 3m x 2m exhibition space in refreshment area
    • Insert in delegate pack
    • 4 delegate places
      Exhibition Package:
    • Profile in delegate pack
    • 3m x 2m exhibition space in refreshment area
    • Insert in delegate pack
    • 2 delegate places

    • Insert Package:
    • Up to A4 size or equivalent insert in delegate pack

    © 2021 Policy Foresight Ltd. All rights reserved