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The National Crime Agency has revealed that the scale of the “county lines” trade, in which criminal networks exploit thousands of children and vulnerable adults to funnel drugs from cities to towns and rural areas, could be as much as £500 million. The majority of victims groomed into working for gangs are 15 to 17-year-old boys but children as young as 11 have been targeted. Effective partnership working at a local level between councils, the police, health services and charities and community organisations is essential to tackle and prevent drug related crime and safeguard those exploited by criminal gangs.