As anITV News investigation reveals criminal gangs are using large numbers of children to carry drugs between UK cities, here are some warning signs which could indicate your child is involved in a gang.
According to the charity, Only Cowards Carry, the behaviours and signs include:
Withdrawing from the family
Blocking family and friends on social media
Not sticking to agreed times to come home when they go out
Going missing from home
New expensive clothes or other items
Large sums of money that can’t be accounted for
Aggressive or difficult behaviour
Arriving in taxis or unknown vehicles
New friends that you do not know
Truanting or long term absences from school
Showing a lack of respect towards peers and teachers
Although helpful, these signs alone do not automatically indicate a child is in a gang. Changes in behaviour or attitudes could be due to a phase or just being a "teenager" among other things.
However, if you have any cause for concern talk to the child or young person to determine if there really is a problem.