PRIMARY school teachers in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are being asked to look out for child victims of the drugs gangs flooding Dorset with class As.

Teachers of even the youngest children in schools across the area are being asked to be aware of the signs that a child may be involved in so-called 'county lines' dealing.

Council officials have moved to reassure parents and carers as the news was revealed.

Councillor Sandra Moore, BCP Council cabinet member for children and families, said: “Our schools’ designated safeguarding leads meet quarterly, and as part of the next meeting we will be covering the topic of county lines.

"We will be reminding teams within schools and the council about the signs and symptoms to look out for.

"This is not in response to a specific incident but more about preventative measures and ensuring those who are working with our children and young people know what to look out for when it comes to potential victims of county lines.

"This is in line with the national guidelines provided by central government in addressing the issue of crime that deliberately targets children.”

County lines involves gangs from large cities use dedicated phone lines to supply drugs to smaller towns.

Some of the signs of exploitation and county lines involvement are:

• A child or young person going missing from home or significant changes in emotional well-being

• A person meeting unfamiliar adults or a change to their behaviour

• The use of drugs and alcohol

• Acquiring money or expensive gifts they can’t account for

• Lone children from outside of the area

• Individuals with multiple mobile phones, tablets or ‘SIM cards’

• Young people with more money, expensive clothing, or accessories than they can account for

• Unknown or suspicious looking characters coming and going from a neighbour’s house

• Relationships with controlling or older individuals or associations with gangs

• Suspicion of self-harm, physical assault or unexplained injuries