Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has questioned Ministers from the Ministry of Justice on county lines. This took place during at Justice Questions on 14th September 2021, the transcript of which is below:
Giles Watling MP:
“Last weekend a young man sadly lost his life in my constituency, and a county lines drug operation was peripherally involved. What are the Government doing to bring a stop to these county lines drug operations, which are ruining constituencies such as mine?"
The Minister for Crime and Policing (Kit Malthouse MP)
“I am extremely sorry to hear about the event in my hon. Friend’s constituency, and I am pleased that he has raised it on the Floor of the House. He will know that, for the last two years, we have made dismantling the county lines business model a key priority of our work between the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice. He will be pleased to know that, following significant investment in the key exporting forces of London, the west midlands and Liverpool—Merseyside police—we have made significant progress. We reckon that we have managed to dismantle about a third of the county lines, but there is still significant work to do. He will be pleased to know that some counties, such as Essex and Norfolk, are showing significant success, but there is still a lot more to do to overcome this pernicious and particularly unpleasant business model that focuses on exploiting young and vulnerable people as part of its way of making money. I assure him that we will not stint over the coming years in trying to eradicate county lines from our country."