Sounds innocent, but it’s not. “County Lines” is the name given to criminals using children to courier drugs for them often getting them to travel to other counties. Sometimes children as young as 12 and there is an estimated 46,000 children currently involved in gang activity across the UK. It’s an issue the Children’s Society are raising to bring awareness to parents and others and you can read more about it here https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/what-is-county-lines.
Vulnerable children are more at risk, but it’s worth keeping a note of any of these behaviours which might suggest a child is involved.
- Returning home late, staying out all night or going missing
- Being found in areas away from home
- Increasing drug use, or being found to have large amounts of drugs on them
- Being secretive about who they are talking to and where they are going
- Unexplained absences from school, college, training or work
- Unexplained money, phone(s), clothes or jewellery
- Increasingly disruptive or aggressive behaviour
- Using sexual, drug-related or violent language you wouldn’t expect them to know
- Coming home with injuries or looking particularly dishevelled
- Having hotel cards or keys to unknown places.