County lines

A Henry Blake Film


14 year old Tyler Hughes attends a Pupil Referral Unit in East London. He is disengaged and vulnerable – exactly the kind of boy that “recruiter” Simon targets and grooms to promote his drug dealing enterprise out of town. At home his mother is preoccupied and neglectful, failing to notice when Tyler comes home late one day with new trainers and choosing to ask no questions when his regular cash injections start helping to pay for the essentials.

However, Tyler rapidly finds himself out of his depth when he “goes country” and has to report to Devon, one of Simon’s ruthless lieutenants. When Tyler returns to London he is traumatised and damaged, a shell of the boy he once was. Over the next 6 months he goes “missing” numerous times and is assigned to Bex, a highly committed missing persons worker who is tirelessly trying to bring the issue of County Lines to the attention of top Westminster MPs.

Events escalate further still when Tyler falls out with his mum and Simon sends him up north to a port town, where Tyler is punished by Devon for losing his cargo and then savagely attacked by a rival gang. Fortunately, Bex’s determination helps Toni break through her denial and reconnect with her broken son, encouraging Tyler to return to his family and begin piecing together his shattered life.

The film highlights the growing national crisis of ‘County Lines’ and the serious threat it poses to Britain’s children. Writer/director Henry Blake has been working with survivors of this phenomenon for a number of years and the film is inspired by the stories he has come across. To read more about the topic see here.

We are currently seeking funding. If you are interested in supporting this film we would like to hear from you.