Revealed: surge in vulnerable children linked to UK drug gangs

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Scale of county lines crisis laid bare as officials raise concerns over nearly 9,000 young people

The scale of the “county lines” national drugs network crisis is laid bare as figures analysed by the Guardian reveal the soaring number of cases in which vulnerable children are linked to gangs.

In 2017-18, 8,650 assessments by children’s services in England noted young people as being vulnerable with gangs identified as an issue. This included 1,290 cases from the north-west and 3,130 from London, up from 3,680 in 2014-15.

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