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"Trapped" campaign

The "Trapped" campaign is aimed at young people who could be vulnerable to criminal exploitation by "county lines" drug dealers.

County lines is the term given to a form of drug dealing where children and  vulnerable people are forced into selling, storing and transporting drugs and money into smaller county towns. They are controlled by criminals through violence, threats, intimidation and in some cases, sexual exploitation.

“Trapped” tells the story of a boy from Manchester who has been groomed by a drug dealer and then forced to sell drugs in another town. It also includes four separate, short videos from the perspective of each character in the film – the victim, his mother, his teacher and the criminal who is exploiting him.

If this is happening to you, or a child or young person who you know, please tell the police. Safeguarding young and vulnerable people is a foremost priority for the police and it is vital that they are protected from what is often a very dangerous and violent life.

Spot the signs that a child or young person may have been groomed and exploited 

Gangs are increasingly using social media to recruit children who aren’t typically vulnerable, so everyone needs to be alert to the following signs:
Persistently going missing from school or home and / or being found out-of-area
Unexplained money, clothes, or mobile phones
Excessive receipt of texts / phone calls
Relationships with controlling / older individuals or groups
Leaving home / care without explanation
Suspicion of physical assault / unexplained injuries
Carrying weapons
Significant decline in school results / performance
Gang association or isolation from peers or social networks
Self-harm or significant changes in emotional well-being

If you suspect a child you care for or know is being exploited, please call the police on 101, if they are in immediate danger, always call 999

Call the police on 101, if you or a child is in immediate danger, always call 999. 

You can also contact or get advice from  North Yorkshire and York’s Safeguarding Children Boards

The NSPCC has help lines for young people and parents and carers 

Watch the video…

The victim

His mum

His Teacher

The criminal


This campaign was developed in Greater Manchester and adopted by the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit.