Please watch out for the following signs that may indicate a child is being exploited by a county lines gang:
- frequently going missing from school, home or care
- travelling to locations, or being found in areas they have no obvious connections with, including seaside or market towns
- unwillingness to explain their whereabouts
- acquiring money, clothes, accessories or mobile phones which they seem unable to account for
- receiving excessive texts or phone calls at all hours of the day
- having multiple mobile phone handsets or sim cards
- withdrawing or having sudden changes in personality, behaviour or the language they use
- having relationships with controlling or older individuals and groups
- unexplained injuries
- carrying weapons
- significant decline in school results or performance
- being isolated from peers or social networks
- associating with or being interested in gang culture
- self-harming or having significant changes in mental health.
If you’re worried about a child and have concerns please report this to the Police or the NSPCC helpline.