Child Exploitation Pt 2
In my opinion, the strategies currently used to spread awareness about County Lines, and the approach taken to educate children and young adults about the dangers associated with the problem; are quite frankly fucking useless.
Educating society about County Lines is pointless…because nobody is listening. Using the dangers associated with County Lines, in an attempt to instil fear in children and young adults is also pointless…they don’t want to hear it.
County Line gang members prey on children and young teenagers by loitering around children’s homes waiting for the runaways. They hover outside school gates watching kids who are being targeted by bullies. At the weekend they stroll around shopping centres and leisure centres picking out the loners. The kids who have no family and crave being part of a family unit. The kids being bullied who crave status and respect. The kids overwhelmed by loneliness that crave excitement and acceptance…THESE are the children who County Line gang members intercept, offering the kid’s dream on a plate.
The way a child or young teenager thinks, is so black and white. This black and white thinking is why the lure of money is so strong. Because in their mind- money solves everything. Money buys designer clothes- which buys respect right? Money buys weapons- which buys reputation yes? Money buys gifts- which buys friends doesn’t it? Money definitely buys happiness! Respect, reputation, friends…happiness…
WRONG. A County Line gang has no intention of paying the children they exploit. Their first shift they’re sent out with a ‘pack’ of drugs- normally a thousand pounds worth. One of the gang members will rob the child so they are immediately in debt. Subsequently, they have to work for nothing until that debt is paid off. And round in circles it goes.
Money attracts resentment and jealousy, which causes barriers and obstacles, making daily life complicated and problematic, resulting in anguish and misery.
The lure of money is irresistible for every age group, and I simply don’t know how to fix that one.