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County lines epidemic.

County lines epidemic.

County lines drug networks have been blamed for a huge spike in the number of children identified as having links to gangs, after the figure more than doubled in three years.

Social services in England carried out 8,650 assessments of young people whom they labelled as vulnerable with gangs highlighted as an issue in 2017-18. 

It marked a significant jump on 2014-15, when 3,680 such cases were recorded.

A similar trend was found in the number of children who went missing during the same period - from 8,850 to 16,070 - which is considered a trait of county lines networks.

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