Charity chief: It is evil threat to whole families
THE head of a charity which offers support to families of County Lines victims said the effects of involvement with gangs are “harrowing”.
The St Giles Trust works with speciallytrained former offenders who can engage with brainwashed youngsters and help them escape. Chief executive Rob Owen said: “Vulnerable children, often from loving, caring homes, have replaced the hardened criminals who used to transport and deal drugs.
“Once they become involved the effects are harrowing.
“Children go missing for days on end, holed up in filthy drug dens where they
are expected to deal drugs 24/7. They are threatened and often subjected to violence if they try to leave.
“Schooling is missed. Families are worried but powerless to stop them being lured away by the gangs who they now identify as their new ‘family’.
“But there is a solution in our approach of using trained professionals with first-hand experience of this life.
“A kid who has been brainwashed into not talking to anyone other than the gang will need someone credible to offer them the lifeline they need.
“This is not a matter of bad parenting – it is child exploitation, pure and simple. And we need your help to tackle it.”
For more information go to www.stgilestrust.org.uk