The Community Safety Podcast

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Tackling County Lines-Dr Grace Robinson outlines her research into County Lines and the criminal exploitation of young people into the drugs trade. Go to for extensive Show Notes.

Show Notes

CSP1 - Dr Grace Robinson 
Dr Grace Robinson is the Executive Director of Black Box Research and Consultancy Ltd, and a Rights Lab Research Fellow in Modern Slavery Perpetrators and Organised Crime at the University of Nottingham. She completed her Ph.D. research on Urban Street Gangs, Child Criminal Exploitation, and County Lines and regularly shares her research nationally, as a podcast guest, on radio interviews, and on the BBC documentary Inside Out. Grace also acts as a Drugs Expert Witness specialising in Criminal Exploitation, Forced Labour, and County Lines drug supply, and she is a Director of The Lewis Dunne Foundation in Merseyside. 
Grace joins me today to discuss her motivation for researching child exploitation and why she chose to work in the arena of understanding organised crime and children. She explains the central findings of her research on why children and young people become involved with urban street gangs and fall victim to criminal exploitation and county lines and outlines why the issue of county lines has come to prominence recently. Grace also shares details of her research at the University of Nottingham on the implications of COVID-19 for child criminal exploitation and county lines, the study's aims, and their findings so far.

Hope and patience are critical; change isn’t going to happen overnight - it's about perseverance and constantly providing a safety net for a young person.”- Dr Grace Robinson

 Today on The Community Safety Podcast:
● Why young people get caught up in criminal gangs and Grace’s view on the youth offending teams and their processes
● The effects of the devastating drug at the heart of child exploitation 
● The role school exclusion plays in the criminalisation of children
● What a day in the life of a child involved in county lines and in running drugs looks like and the youngest child Grace has come across in this terrible situation
● What ‘Cuckooing’ is, how those situations happen and how that affects the children involved in county lines
● Is legalising cannabis the answer? - Grace’s thoughts on how we should tackle drugs in the UK to protect young people and children in the future
● The importance of a trauma-informed approach by practitioners
● How to support and educate children at risk of becoming involved with urban gangs appropriately as early as possible
● How social media is being used to lure and recruit young people to county lines
● Grace’s company Black Box Research and Consulting, and the importance of her work as an expert witness
Connect with Dr Grace Robinson:
Black Box Research and Consultancy website
County Lines website 
Dr Grace Robinson on LinkedIn


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What is The Community Safety Podcast?

The Community Safety Podcast has been created by Jim Nixon from Birmingham in the United Kingdom. Community Safety is the use of skills, knowledge and techniques, to prevent and reduce crime, disorder and fear of crime and develop safer communities in which to live, work and visit. Community Safety affects us all in society, it's all our responsibility to improve communities. Some of the main issues affecting communities in today’s society is violence, knife crime, mental health, alcohol abuse, drugs, child exploitation, anti-social behaviour and many many more.