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New film released for schools to highlight ‘County Lines’ grooming threat

A new film tackling the growing issue of criminals grooming and exploiting teenagers has been released for schools.

New this week on Into Film’s free screening service for UK schools, Into Film+, is the film County Lines, an Award-winning British drama depicting the story of a teenage boy pressured into running ‘County Lines’, an escalating issue facing vulnerable children and young people today. 

Aimed at pupils aged 16+, Into Film launched the film and accompanying teaching resource to highlight the UK crisis affecting pupils who lack support and safeguarding within society and to provide valuable insight and support for teachers tackling this challenging subject matter in the classroom. 

“This film authentically depicts the reality for young people caught up in the County Lines trap,” said Stefanie Roberts, Signs of Safety Practice Lead, Bexley Children’s Social Care.

“This is exactly the model used and the film tracks it brilliantly. It’s an important film to share with young people, their teachers and families, and we will be using the film as part of our training.”
The cast and director of the film County Lines

Inspired by true events, County Lines is the highly acclaimed debut feature from writer/director Henry Blake who based the film on his own experience as a youth worker operating in an East London PRU (Pupil Referral Unit) for children excluded from mainstream school).

The film is a vivid and moving coming-of-age story about a struggling mum and her 14-year-old son, Tyler, who is groomed and recruited into a lethal drug-selling network, a ‘County Line’.

The director’s first-hand knowledge from working with young people already taking part or at real risk of ‘County Lines’ exploitation has enabled him to create an authentic film that captures the harsh reality that so many young people in the UK currently face.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) estimates that more than 10,000 children in the UK are now exploited by or forced to work for drug gangs and that there are now more than 2,000 individual deal line numbers in operation. Police forces, the government, charities and academia are working to combat and disrupt the threat, which can have traumatic and long-lasting consequences for those exploited.

“Frontline staff are so crucial because they can urge other professionals to recognise and acknowledge a child’s vulnerability; something that if it goes unchecked can send a young person on a whistle-stop tour of the UK’s criminal justice system,” said County Lines Writer/Director, Henry Blake.

To watch County Lines and access the teaching resource, sign up to the free* streaming platform, Into Film+

Into Film and the Into Film+ streaming platform is supported by the BFI using National Lottery funding, thanks to National Lottery players, and the UK film industry through Cinema First. The National Lottery raises £36 million each week for good causes across the UK.

*Into Film+ screenings of Filmbankmedia’s films for an entertainment or extra-curricular purpose require a Public Video Screening Licence (PVSL) from Filmbankmedia. State-funded schools in England are covered by the PVSL. 

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