The NSPCC have launched a new helpline for anyone who is worried about a young person being involved in a gang. As a parent you have an important role to play in helping protect them from gangs. But it can be difficult to know what to do.

There aren't any definite signs that show a child has joined a gang - and it's unlikely that they'll tell you, but here are some things you can look out for:

  • spending time with people you don't know and aren't sure about

  • going missing from home or school

  • getting into trouble at school

  • having new clothes or other items that you think they can't afford

  • getting involved with crimes including robbery, violence, drug dealing and sexual exploitation

  • having unexplained injuries

  • losing interest in their existing hobbies

  • becoming secretive

  • not telling you where they have been or why they have returned late.

The NSPCC helpline service supports adults worried about young people involved in, or at risk from, gangs.

Anyone with concerns can contact their 24 hour helpline anonymously on 0808 800 5000 or email