Concerned about a child? You can also call 0300 123 6720 or out of hours 0300 123 6722. If you think a child is in immediate danger – don't delay call the police on 999
please click on any of the links below for further help, support and advice.
If you are worried about a child’s welfare:
Contact the NSPCC helpline
If you are worried about a child’s mental health:
For children and young people under the age of 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide and for anyone concerned that a young person could be thinking about suicide:
Supporting adult family members via telephone, text, email and web chat. Family pressures can sometimes be difficult to manage without emotional support and guidance to help. Many people feel confused by what information is available or struggle to access services close to home.
Do you need support with:
• Helping a child or young person who is grieving
• Understanding the concept of loss in children and young people of different ages
• Recognising potential complicated grief.
County lines is about city-based gangs expanding their illegal drugs businesses into new areas, often exploiting children in the process.
When an organised crime group or urban gang from an area such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, or West Yorkshire extends their drug dealing operation into other counties it's often referred to as 'county lines'. ‘Line’ refers to the mobile phone drug lines that organised crime groups market to sell their drugs.
Gangs need people to transport drugs and cash and often exploit children and vulnerable adults to do so. These drugs runners are incentivised with things that they want or need such as money, gifts like designer clothes and trainers, status, perceived friendship, or protection in return for completing tasks. Soon these gifts and intangible benefits turn into threats of what will happen if they don’t complete a task. These intimidation tactics make it very difficult for new recruits to say no, particularly as debts are incurred.
Children as young as 10 and vulnerable adults are made to travel many miles away from home to coastal towns and rural locations to deliver Class A drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine, collect cash, and even carry out enforcement for the gang. Travelling to areas where they are not known by the authorities allows them to fly under the radar for longer, carrying the risk on behalf of senior gang members. This causes obvious problems in our communities as vulnerable adults and children go missing for days at a time, missing school and being away from any support.
If you are concerned about a child’s involvement or the possibility of a child’s involvement with County Lines, go to this website for more information and guidance on what to do:
Further useful websites and services: