On Tuesday the 28th of January 2020 Reigate college was visited by dog handlers with passive drug dogs, from the Surrey Police. This was part of an initiative taken by local schools and the Surrey police to help prevent “county lines”.


“County lines” is a crime where gangs and organised crime networks spread and sell drugs, often through the exploitation of children or young people. These young people are often forced to travel the country and use dedicated phone lines to sell these drugs. Often, these young people are forced into this activity, or don’t really understand what they are getting into. Although no-one knows the exact number of children who are involved, it is estimated (by the Children's Commissioner) that there are 4000 young people in London and 46,000 young people in the UK who are a part of county lines. This is an issue that is unfortunately increasing in Surrey and surrounding counties.


As we walked into Reigate college that morning, there were police officers and dogs who would be able to detect any drugs on students. The aim of this was not to criminalise the students, but to send a clear message warning gangs looking to potentially involve students.


by Jasmine Hadouka-Taylor