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Child criminal exploitation

Children are being exploited by gangs involved in drug crime. Know the signs to spot.

County lines gangs use children and vulnerable people to courier drugs and money. A young person who is involved in county lines activity might exhibit some of these signs:

  • persistently going missing from school or home or being found out-of-area
  • unexplained money, clothes or mobile phones
  • excessive receipt of texts or phone calls
  • relationships with controlling, older individuals or gang association
  • leaving home or care without explanation
  • suspicion of self-harm, physical assault or unexplained injuries
  • parental concerns
  • significant decline in school performance
  • significant changes in emotional well-being

If you suspect a child you care for or know is being exploited, please call the police on 101, if they are in immediate danger, always call 999.