Project information

County Lines

To tackle the growing issue of County Lines in South Wales, in which vulnerable young people are coerced by criminal gangs to smuggle and deal hard drugs across socially deprived towns. Through a specialist caseworker, each young person will be supported to safely escape this insidious threat.

December 2017 - December 2018

Charity information: St Giles Trust

St Giles Trust logo
  • Need


    County Lines targets vulnerable young people, exploiting them to become drug runners for gangs. Lured with false promises of rewards, they end up abused, traumatised and often in the criminal justice system.

    Nationwide 83% of police forces have reported County Lines as an established or emerging criminal activity. With gangs in major UK cities expanding their drug supply links into South Wales, local services lack the flexibility and resources to tackle the needs of the young people affected.


    The service will fill the gaps left by other agencies across the region. After initial engagement, an assessment will be carried out to ascertain each victim’s needs.

    An intensive support package will be compiled to work with the young person and their family, making their home environment more stable and formulating an action plan to avoid re-offending. Victims will also be linked with services in their home area and offered long term support from our caseworker.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    The County Lines Caseworker will support 15 young people at a time.


    » Caseworker will engage with young people following their referral and carry out a needs assessment.
    » Ongoing support will be provided to address the needs of each individual.
    » Structured monitoring of the project will be applied to ensure caseworker - client engagement.

    What success will look like

    Reports will show at any one time, the project will be supporting or seeking to work with 15 young people impacted by County Lines.

    Aim 2

    Improving family relationships for children & young people involved in County Lines.


    » Engagement will continue in the community; working holistically with the young person and their family to address underlying issues.
    » We will target young people immediately after they have been arrested as this represents the crucial moment when they are most open to change.

    What success will look like

    Feedback from the project will show the young people involved in County Lines have taken positive steps towards improving family relationships.

    Aim 3

    Ensure young people are steered through the complex network of services to receive the best support.


    » Dedicated one-to-one casework. Around housing and finances for example, which are prevalent support needs.
    » The wider St Giles Trust team will use their existing links in the community to source appropriate support.
    » If applicable, the young person will be linked to specialist services in their home area.
    » Services include; social services, youth offending teams, substance misuse services, and mental health services.

    What success will look like

    Both young people and agencies worked with will report that the project helped individuals to receive the best support.

    Aim 4

    Reducing the overall involvement of children and young people in County Lines in South Wales.


    » Work with local agencies to implement a cohesive strategy addressing the issue.
    » Where possible, promote the prevalence of the issue in the public discourse.
    » Undertake an evaluation of our service delivery.

    What success will look like

    Steps towards reducing the impact of County Lines in South Wales will be reflected in internal and external findings.

  • Impact


    We hope to contribute to a wider understanding of best practice around this new and growing phenomenon in South Wales and nationwide.

    In order to achieve this, we need to build long-term, scalable services which can be accessed across the region. We will consult with young people who've been exploited by gangs and with their parents. We will also consult with local authorities and agencies.


    Engaging highly vulnerable young people is going to be a challenge. Traumatised young people are often scared of opening up to anyone they perceive as being in ‘authority’.

    However, St Giles Trust is highly experienced in this area through our existing work with young gang members. Our peer-led approach of using former service users means we achieve exceptional engagement and can reach those other agencies struggle to.


    We will submit progress reports to our donors on a regular basis. Donors and supporters will also have opportunity to meet and discuss the work of the County Lines caseworker first hand.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £1,800 Staff Costs Including specialist training courses and regular training updates.
      £3,000 Travel For both staff and clients (young people).
      £5,000 Client Costs Such as relocation costs, emergency accommodation and basic items.
      £3,000 Volunteer Costs Specialist training, travel and subsistence.
      £2,000 Evaluation We will commission a thorough professional evaluation of the service.
      £5,200 Project Costs Including management, facilities, promotional materials, resources.

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Children In Need (Covers salary and administrative costs of our caseworker). £37,294 Guaranteed
    Oakdale Trust £1,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The city of Cardiff has 357,200 residents of which 20% of people over the age of 16 have no qualifications. Cardiff and Newport have respective unemployment rates of 11.6% and 17.2%.

    41,000 households - nearly a third of Cardiff’s total number - are deemed to be living in poverty. Cardiff is also one of the top three areas in Wales with the highest concentrations of residents living in the most deprived areas.

    Deaths due to substance misuse in the local area continue to rise.


    Young people who have become caught up in County Lines will be helped to escape the life of gangs, crime and drugs and supported towards a brighter future.

    The local region will also benefit. With drugs distributed from the homes of local vulnerable people in the area, our efforts to tackle the wider phenomenon will reduce this. Finally, local agencies and police forces - who have limited experience in this issue - will receive support from our skilled team.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    St Giles Trust has recently been at the forefront of addressing the County Lines issue. As a natural extension of our award-winning SOS Project, we have worked to raise awareness of the issue and support those impacted by gangs across London, Essex, Ipswich and most recently South Wales.

    The wider St Giles Trust Cymru team has been based in South Wales since 2013, building up a plethora of connections and delivering support to prison leavers, vulnerable children and families across the region.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Rebecca Miller

    County Lines Caseworker. Rebecca will conduct the day to day running of the project.

    Justine Jenkins

    Manager of the St Giles Trust Cymru team. Responsible for overseeing the delivery of the County Lines project in Wales.

    Evan Jones

    Head of Community Services and St Giles Trust’s County Lines service delivery.

I asked the waitress how much she was on an hour - £9.15 minimum wage doesn’t seem like a lot but when you are in a crack house for two to three days at a time and getting paid nothing except promises it makes sense to do things legit. Even at 14 years of age he got that.

SOS Caseworker talking to a young person caught up in County Lines