Keeping our children safe: Come to a talk about county lines

16th July, 2019

The last in a series of talks for parents / carers for this academic year is on “County Lines” and it takes place on Thursday 18 July 2019 at 12pm.

Keeping our children safe is one of the Academy’s greatest priorities and why we believe it is important to be aware of, and where possible, discuss topical issues as a community so together, we are purposefully working towards the safety and prosperity of our children.

It is likely you will have heard the term ‘County Lines’ in the news recently. This is a real and growing form of criminal activity that exists nationally and regionally across the London. To explain, it is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs from urban areas into rural areas. The leaders of these gangs are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults, often without them realising it, to move (and store) drugs and money. They use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons.

In a positive and purposeful community like ours at Skinners’ it may feel tempting to think “it could not happen here” but it is this sort of assumption that can leave the students in our (and any) community vulnerable so do be aware of signs of change in a young person’s behaviour which may indicate involvement in this or another type of detrimental activity:

  • Returning home late, staying out all night, or going missing;
  • Being found in areas away from home;
  • Increasing drug use, or being found to have large amounts of drugs on them;
  • Being secretive about who they are talking to and where they are going;
  • Unexplained absences from school
  • Unexplained money, phone(s), clothes, or jewellery;
  • Increasingly disruptive or aggressive behaviour;
  • Using sexual, drug-related, or violent language that you wouldn’t expect them to know;
  • Coming home with injuries or looking particularly dishevelled;
  • Having hotel cards or keys to unknown places.

The Academy and local police are working together to spot signs of exploitation and ensure young people are safe. We’re keen that parents/carers are aware of this very real threat to young people in the UK, and will be holding a Parent Awareness session on Thursday 18th July 2019 at 12pm.  This will be delivered by our Community Police Officer and a member of the County Lines task force.

With the forthcoming summer holidays ahead, this is a particularly opportune time to attend.

Any questions? Please contact the organiser – Nadine Bowling, Head of Parent and Student Engagement via reception 020 88007411 or nbowling@skinnersacademy.org.uk.