CRIMESTOPPERS is launching a campaign to stop criminals from Liverpool and Manchester expanding their drug network in rural Cheshire.

The charity is raising awareness of ‘county lines’ – an issue which sees a single phone number operated from outside the area used to order drugs.

Vulnerable children and adults are then recruited in the cities to transport cash and drugs in quieter areas – so the criminals behind it are less likely to be detected.

They often set up a base in a rural area for a short time, taking over the home of a vulnerable person, and the issue is having a major impact across Cheshire.

Gary Murray, Crimestoppers regional manager for the north west, said: “ ‘County lines’ isn’t necessarily a term people are familiar with, but as a charity it’s important we raise awareness of this issue and tackle it.

“Gangs coming in from other areas only add to any existing drug-related issues, so we are asking that anyone who has information to contact us, safe in the knowledge nobody will know you have done so.

“We won’t judge or ask any personal details. All we want to know is what you know, and you’ll remain 100 per cent anonymous – always.”

Anyone with information on county lines can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Alternatively, information can be passed on through an untraceable online form at