• County Lines

MAKE THE BEST OF A BAD SITUATION

Too often in life, we are forced to make the best of a bad situation. I'm almost certain that every individual who reads this, can relate. My attitude towards life is abysmal. I acknowledge that. My motto is "LIFE'S A BITCH AND THEN YOU DIE, SO FUCK THE WORLD AND LET'S GET HIGH!"

I'm not just cursed, I'm jinxed too. I'm the epitome of walking sods law. I'm that person who ALWAYS get's shat on by a pigeon the minute I step outside. I'm that person who is prosecuted as a criminal for crimes I have been the victim of.

Last week, I received a frantic message of an old friend of mine, who wanted some input on a situation that had gone from bad to worse with his 16 year old son. His son had been bullied when he began secondary school. As a result of this, he preferred not to socialise with the other kids. Yet being a 'loner' apparently made him an easier target, and four years on he was still being bullied relentlessly. Subsequently, he was preyed on by a County Lines gang who had just moved into the area and were looking to identify vulnerable teenagers they could exploit.

Thankfully, my friend's son had been educated on the topic of County Lines, and wasn't going to be lured in by the gangs false promises. However, his refusal to become involved was perceived as outright disrespect by the gang and he's now being bullied by the gang members outside of school hours and his classmates during school hours.

My friend told me that his son feels like he's been backed into a corner and can only make the best of a bad situation. At 16 years old, he hasn't been able to come up with any other options, other than:


1. Stop the bullying by quitting school before gaining any qualifications and use crime as a means to survive.
2. Get involved with the County Lines gang committing crime, to earn respect and stop the bullying at school.

The conversation with my old friend got me thinking.

I thought about a young gang member I'd met two years ago, who was an only child with a severely disabled mother who he had to care for. His dad leaving meant he was financially responsible for them both. They didn't qualify for any help because they weren't UK citizens. In desperation, he took up the offer of drug dealing for a County Lines gang. When the realisation dawned an hour into his first shift, that he'd made a terrible mistake, it was too late to back out. He had been warned against approaching an adult for help because to his horror, the gang knew where he and his mum lived.

I thought about my reaction to a statement made by a gang member who was only a young 17 year old girl. She informed me that selling drugs on a daily basis for a County Lines gang, wasn't anywhere near as bad as being raped on a daily basis by her stepfather.


In a situation where someone is being cuckooed by a County Lines gang, making the best of a bad situation involves choosing between;


1. Losing your freedom
2. Losing your life

You call the police for help, you lose your life. You're killed by the gang for informing the authorities of their criminal activity. You keep quiet, you lose your freedom. You're charged with involvement in criminal activity and sent to prison.


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