Brownedge St Mary's Catholic High School is part of Operation Encompass, which is a national scheme that operates jointly between schools and police forces.
Operation Encompass is the reporting to schools, prior to the start of the next school day, when a child or young person has experienced domestic abuse. This allows us to use the information that has been shared, in confidence, to support the pupils in our care.
The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 identifies children who experience domestic abuse as victims of domestic abuse in their own right.



County lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs using dedicated mobile phone lines or other forms of “deal line”. This activity can happen locally as well as across the UK - no specified distance of travel is required. Children and vulnerable adults are exploited to move, store and sell drugs and money. Offenders will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons to ensure compliance of victims.

Children can be targeted and recruited into county lines in a number of locations including our setting, other education settings, children’s homes and care homes.

Children are also increasingly being targeted and recruited online using social media. Children can easily become trapped by this type of exploitation as county lines gangs can manufacture drug debts which need to be worked off, or threaten serious violence and kidnap towards victims (and their families) if they attempt to leave the county lines network.

A number of the indicators for CSE and CCE as detailed above may be applicable to where children are involved in county lines. Some additional specific indicators that may be present where a child is criminally exploited through involvement in county lines are children who:

  • go missing and are subsequently found in areas away from their home;
  • have been the victim or perpetrator of serious violence (e.g. knife crime);
  • are involved in receiving requests for drugs via a phone line, moving drugs, handing over and collecting money for drugs;
  • are exposed to techniques such as ‘plugging’, where drugs are concealed internally to avoid detection;
  • are found in accommodation that they have no connection with, often called a ‘trap house or cuckooing’ or hotel room where there is drug activity;
  • owe a ‘debt bond’ to their exploiters; and
  • have their bank accounts used to facilitate drug dealing.

If a child is suspected to be at risk of or involved in county lines, a safeguarding referral will also be considered alongside consideration of availability of local services/third sector providers who offer support to victims of county lines exploitation, such as CLIMB.