Safeguarding letter from the Headteacher

It is likely you have heard the term ‘County Lines’ used in the news recently. This is a growing form of criminal activity that exists nationally, regionally across the West Midlands and here in Birmingham.

County Lines is a term used to describe how gangs and organised criminal networks export illegal drugs into other (mainly rural) areas by exploiting children and vulnerable adults, often without them realising it. Gang members may use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons to do this. We are clear that this is child exploitation.

WARNING SIGNS
We want to support parents and carers to keep children safe; listed below are some warning signs of ‘County Lines’ exploitation for you to look out for. Often, these are behavioural changes such as:
• 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.

Read the letter in full here.

Tags: safeguarding

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