The 2018 Home Office Serious Crime Strategy states the NPCC definition of a County Line is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas [within the UK], using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of “deal line”. They are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults to move [and store] the drugs and money and they will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons.
The National County Lines Coordination Centre (NCLCC) is a joint partnership between the National Police Chief Council (NPCC) and the National Crime Agency (NCA). Each of the ROCUs have a County Lines Coordinator (Detective Inspector) and an analyst, which sit within their respective ROCU. They are supported by the NCLCC, which has its own intelligence and analytical functions.
The coordinator has a number of roles:
- Tactical advice to Senior Investigating Officers, who are investigating County Lines offences
- To identify County Lines Organised Crime Groups/Lines that are impacting on the local area, the regions and national and ensure that they are effectively disrupted and dismantled.
- To develop investigative practice around county lines
- To develop partnerships with local, regional and national partners to tackle County Lines.
- To assist the police forces and partners to prepare strategies around the protect, prepare and prevent strands. To assist with training of partners to understand County Lines / OCGs and deal with them effectively.