County Lines: Understanding How Criminal Gangs Are Targeting Children Online

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About The Webinar

County Lines: Understanding How Criminal Gangs Are Targeting Children Online

Webinar Runtime: 50 Minutes

This webinar will provide headteachers, designated safeguarding leads (DSLs), teachers and all school staff with an understanding of how the risks associated with county lines and child criminal exploitation have developed through the COVID-19 pandemic, with a rise in online grooming.

Whilst there may be a perception that lockdown and tighter restrictions on movement have reduced the threat from county lines, there is evidence to suggest that criminal gangs have evolved their tactics and continue to target vulnerable children through both old and new practice. A buoyant drugs market means that school should continue to look out for the signs of abuse and exploitation.

In this webinar, Hazel Parkinson, former county drugs coordinator, DSL and pastoral manager with 20+ years’ senior leadership experience, discusses how COVID-19 has changed the way gangs operate, the risks to children and how schools can recognise if children may be vulnerable to online recruitment.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understanding how organised crime groups and those who operate county lines have adapted during the pandemic and what this means for safeguarding children online.

  • Recognising how criminal gangs are using common social media platforms to recruit children into county lines and target those who are most vulnerable.

  • Identifying the different risks for young people subject to county lines abuse and exploitation and how county lines links in with other forms of criminal exploitation.

  • Understanding how schools can recognise if children have been impacted by the pandemic and what signs to look out for which might make them vulnerable.

  • Recognising how county lines may operate in the future following the relaxation of restrictions and how schools can help children who might need extra support.

Hazel Parkinson

About The Expert

Hazel Parkinson

Former county-drugs coordinator, DSL and pastoral manager with 20+ years’ senior leadership experience.
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