Spot the signs of county lines

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.  

Please also check out this useful below video created in partnership with Sketchups, which highlights the issues around county lines and how this is impacting on children, vulnerable adults and society.