Growing up in Essex gives you a grittiness; but that grittiness doesn’t mean settling for how things are. Grittiness is determination, ambition, wanting more for yourself, your future.

The path you choose isn’t fixed or decided by others, you make your own choices.

County Lines is a way people sell
drugs – moving drugs across the County using phone lines to arrange deals and drop offs. 

At first it might seem simple, harmless even, new friends, alcohol, money, new trainers or clothes – but it will escalate, before you realise it you’re carrying drugs.

It may start with delivering a package for an older sibling, an older friend even, but County Lines gangs aren’t your friends. They won’t be there for you when you’re taking the risk, breaking the law.

Knowing the signs of County Lines can help. Help you make the right choice, help you walk away, help you keep your friends and their respect. Having a passion, real friends, sport, drama, dance – something you love doing – can be all the distraction you need. 

It’s never too late to help. If their behaviour has suddenly changed, they’ve got new things, they don’t want to hang out anymore then question why.

Ask them if they are ok, get advice from an adult you trust, phone the helpline above for support; let your mate know there is help.

"When you know

something’s not right you

need to say it"

Drug dealing and violence is not normal – you can make the choice. Saying No isn’t a weakness but the strongest thing you’ll do.

If you’re worried, then reach out and talk to someone.

Whether that’s a mate, teacher, parent or trusted adult, there is always someone who will listen. You can phone the helpline above to talk to someone anonymously – no pressure, no judgment.

TALK TO SOMEONE

© Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit 2021. All rights reserved. 

Worried about your mates?

0800 1111