White lines to County Lines

Ray Douglas

Monday, 7 January 2019

In 1983 Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel released the hip-hop anthem white lines which depicted the social epidemic of Class A drugs within New York. 

In 2019 in urban and rural England with the advent of trap and drill music we are now faced with an epidemic  known as county lines which essentially is school-aged  young people  disappearing from saturated drug supply cities and moving into more affluent towns and seaside communities to distribute class A drugs known as “shotting” or “trapping”.

In recent years the spike in trafficking within these communities has led to an increase in violence often gang-related as well as the establishment of fault lines leading to knife attacks and in some cases guns discharged and fatalities.

This is not a new phenomenon however and the above has been practised as a means of income generation for decades historically referred to as ‘going country’ or conch’.

In the past, however, this behaviour was quite often labelled as a crime undertook by vulnerable young people e.g. those in care excluded from school or lacking social capital with some regions reporting up to 83 young people go missing per month.


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About our Community Expert

Raymond Douglas
Community Expert

Raymond Douglas is one of the UK’s leading thinkers and “doers” around working with at-risk pupils and young people. A prolific trainer and curriculum developer he has created numerous intervention programs tackling youth conflict & violence aiming to reduce the number of those at risk of life-threatening behaviour involving guns, gangs, knife crime & extremism.

Ray has been an approved trainer for governmental departments and currently delivers within schools colleges, universities and prisons. Ray has spoken at TEDx and has worked nationally and internationally training & advising schools and local authorities around reducing systemic youth violence.

Today his Minus Violence program reaches over 10,000 young people & pupils per year and 2019 see the release of his first book Gangs Kitchen.

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