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There is a growing culture amongst young people to become involved in gangs for protection, a sense of identity, status, friendship, money and sex.
Joining a gang will not give you more protection; it could enhance your chance of being targeted as a victim. Gang members make far less money than those who do not join gangs. Gang members usually don't get a good education, making it hard to find a good job.
County lines is the police term for urban gangs supplying drugs to suburban areas and market and coastal towns using dedicated mobile phone lines or “deal lines”.
Gang culture can have consequences that could affect the rest of your life.
If you have information about gang crime in your area and you're nervous about going to the police, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They will never ask for your name or try to trace the number that you're calling from.
Always dial 999 if you are worried someone is at risk. The police are there to help and keep you safe.
If you are worried about criminal exploitation, or are involved with it already, it is not too late to get help. Talk to your teacher or another grown up you trust or contact one of these organisations
free education resources for anyone working with young people to tackle County Lines and safeguard children and vulnerable adults.
advice about how to spot the signs of criminal exploitation and involvement in gangs and what support is available for children and young people.
Family Lives has advice on how to recognise if your teenager is involved with gangs and criminal exploitation
GOV.UK advice and guidance
West Midlands Police campaign against gangs and exploitation
Crimestoppers information on combatting the exploitation of children and vulnerable people by criminal gangs