Everyone seems to be speaking about county lines at the moment. Different strategies being put in place. Thousands… no Millions of pounds being distributed around the UK by the authorities to try and disrupt and end county lines.
Me, I have a good knowledge of “Going country”. A very good knowledge. When a young person is used to “go country”.. that’s what young people call it by the way. Its only us as professionals who refer to this kind of operation as “County lines”. The young people will refer to this same operation as “Going country”. In my group of friends growing up we even had a boy called “Country man”. Like, I can’t even tell you his real name to this day. He was just “Country man”. He was up and down the county lines like no one else I knew. He would often take the new ones that had to go country to show them the ropes. He knew what places were good, what times to go and stuff like that. He was paid BIG money… or so he said.
When country man was around you, you always felt slightly nervous. There was always the chance with him around that you may be selected to go country. Me personally, I didn’t like Country man. And I avoided him. This is why.
One of the boys was told to go country. He was a young boy. Let’s call him Bryan. Bryan was 14. Anyway, he was told that he had to go country. He was sitting outside the flats with me a few hours before he had to go and we were talking. “I don’t think I want to go” he suddenly said. I didn’t know what to say. There was nothing to say, we both knew he would be going no matter what. “Why” I said. He shook his head looking at his feet, just kicking the kerb with his Jordan’s. “Why” I said again. He kissed his teeth. “You know why” he said. He caught my eye for a hot second and looked away. I knew why. It was because he didn’t want to bank/plug the drugs. He was scared of doing that. (If you don’t know what banking/plugging is, please look it up, but not if you are squeamish). No more was said between us that day.
So off he went, without Country man. A few days later, Brian comes back, and he is in a bad way. He had been robbed on the train and had been beaten. All the drugs had bern taken. I only saw him, I never spoke to him. But rumours went around that whoever had robbed him had used a lot of force to remove the plugged drugs. Brian was in debt to the Elder’s and he had to pay it off. Brian eventually turned into a nitty, which was sad. They had him working that debt off for tiiiimmmmeeeee. They treated him so bad. They would beat him in front of us and no one said a thing. (Yep, go and look Nitty up…or ask me)
However, what few people knew was this… when Brian had left to go country, Country man did not go. Not at the same time. Country man left some time after with others. Rumour has it that Country man boarded the train at a later station, face covered, and robbed Brian. Without Brian knowing it was him. He then took the drugs back to the elders… they had their drugs back…they had Brian to “Pay off the debt”… everyone is a winner. Except Brian of course. And his family, who also got treated like Nittys.
Anyway, back to now. In training I often hear people say, “What can WE do about county lines?”. Like I said, the government are almost throwing money at people and saying, “Help us, this needs to stop, and we don’t know what to do”.
Yesterday, by train, I travelled from my house to Dover and back. Today I travelled, by train, from my house to Maidstone and back. Not one single person asked to see my ticket on the train.
Worse… There was no ticket inspector at ANY of the stations I got on or off at. Not one. I just walked on and off, all different times of the day and no one was there.
Here’s another thing. The costal towns I am travelling are HOT SPOTS for county lines. That not me saying that, that is a fact. There is evidence. The police know this to be true. Sooooooooo…… I am just saying that if people want to know how to work around stopping county lines… and I am not saying that people going country wont just go and buy a ticket, but It may be helpful to have a couple of people manning the “County lines” lines… just saying…