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Preston's county lines summit

21st March 2024 | County Lines

The Clewer Initiative

Last winter, Preston City Councillor, Anna Hindle, contacted The Clewer Initiative to see if we could provide some bespoke county lines training for frontline staff within the city.

Various people within the local Fire Service, Parks Team and Community Centre Teams were becoming conscious of the presence of county lines and the way in which gangs, knife crime and anti-social behaviour were impacting the city. Anna thought it would be helpful to get all the key statutories and community workers in a room for some face-to-face conversations about county lines and training.

At the start of December, 21 people gathered for half a day to share their experience of county lines in Preston, hear from the Police about the issue and discuss how they could work together to combat it. The Clewer Initiative facilitated the event and provided lots of material for discussion, leaflets and expertise.

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The Clewer Initiative trainer explains: “The four hours flew by, and everyone appreciated the opportunity to look at resources and learn more about how vulnerable children are groomed and drawn into county lines. I think a lot of people found it helpful to view the children as victims who are being manipulated, as opposed to troublemakers or drug dealers. The Police were able to share some of the Preston-specific context and this generated lots of discussion. There was a real desire to use the training as a springboard and to continue to work closely together to share soft intelligence and learning.”

Anna Hindle, County Councillor for Preston East and Preston City Councillor for Ribbleton Ward, adds: "The Clewer Initiative trainer made an often difficult topic very engaging and the training was excellent. It was tailored at the right level for the audience and I had very positive feedback following the event. Highlighting the issue of vulnerable children and how to look out for the signs is so important and I am very thankful to The Clewer Initiative for its help."

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