New Yorkshire school campaign set to educate young people on dangers of county lines

Secondary school children will learn the harsh reality of county lines
Secondary school children will learn the harsh reality of county lines
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The dangers of county line drug dealing are to be highlighted in school classrooms across East Yorkshire as part of a hard-hitting new campaign, the Yorkshire Post can reveal.

Secondary school children will learn the harsh reality of county lines - when gangs and organised crime networks groom and exploit children to sell drugs. Often children are made to travel across counties, using dedicated mobile phone lines to supply drugs.

Anti-knife crime campaigner Mo Timbo from Hull is turning his attention to county lines to educate young people.

Anti-knife crime campaigner Mo Timbo from Hull is turning his attention to county lines to educate young people.

Criminals deliberately target vulnerable children into trafficking drugs for them promises of money, friendship and status. Once children have been drawn in, they are controlled using threats, violence and sexual abuse.

Now, anti-knife crime campaigner Mo Timbo from Hull is turning his attention to county lines to educate young people.

Mr Timbo, a pastor at the Potters House Christian Fellowship Church, said: "We are looking at educating people similar to the knife crime campaign.

"Across Hull and Yorkshire at the moment, county lines is a huge issue. In a similar format to knife crime we want to make youngsters aware of the dangers of being sucked into county lines to show them some of the indicators which means they are being groomed.

Read more: Yorkshire knife crime campaigner heading to Downing Street to tackle serious violence epidemic
"For schools, although knife crime is an issue, they are seeing the county lines is becoming more an issue as drug dealers come from bigger cities into Hull.

"The aim is to really try and mentor the young people who are getting involved in that. It tends to be young white teens who are drawn into it, especially in Yorkshire because young drug dealers tend to think they are not going to be stopped by the police."

Mr Timbo will also use his own life experience to educate the young people on county lines after he became embroiled in a life of crime during his teenage years.

He said: "From my own experiences I have the ability to show people the consequences of being involved in crime.

"The majority of my teenage years were involved in county lines. I was groomed into county lines from the age of 15 to 17, and then from 17 to 19 I was grooming kids into county lines.

"As part of the campaign we want to find out why young people are so drawn into county lines."

Mr Timbo has been liaising with schools across Hull and the campaign is expected to start later this month.

Read more: Government pledges £2 million programme to crack down on 'criminals who lead children down dangerous paths'
Earlier this year, the Government announced that children most at risk of being targeted by gangs or violent crime across Yorkshire will benefit from a new £2 million programme.

The Tackling Child Exploitation Support Programme will see specialists across education, health, social care, the police and voluntary sectors come together to help those most vulnerable, education secretary Damian Hinds has said.

The programme is designed to improve how different areas respond to child exploitation - such as gangs, county lines drug dealing, online grooming, sexual exploitation, trafficking or modern slavery.

It will help equip professionals involved in the protection of young people to identify those most at risk from dangers in their communities and online.