Escapeline appeared in a major news report into county line gangs and how the police and charities are tackling the problem in England. BBC News reporter Angus Crawford spent the day with the Escapeline team, as they visited schools to raise awareness of county line gangs operating in the region. The report, shown nationally on BBC News throughout the day and as a lead story on the BBC News website, highlighted the growing problem and the tactics police are using to safeguard the most vulnerable children. Eleven-hundred people were arrested and 292 weapons seized in a crackdown on county lines drug dealing gangs by forces across the UK in the week from 17 to 23 May.  
Watch the BBC report in full here. 
During the pandemic Escapeline has witnessed an increase in the number of county line gangs operating in South West England. There are more reports of children being groomed and exploited by gangs and limited resources available to help. Schools, social services and police are being trained by Escapeline to recognise the signs of exploitation and the charity offers support to the most vulnerable children and their parents. 
Escapeline’s youth mentor shares his personal story of exploitation with school children, helping them to understand the grooming process. He tells us “Drug dealers are preying on these young people, these vulnerable people”. Having been a victim himself, he is now using his experience to help protect others from falling prey to criminal gangs. Escapeline’s CEO adds “This is modern day slavery. These children are being used as slaves”. 
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