As a parent, your top priority is the safety of your children. One of your kids is approaching adolescence which means they are trying to push the boundaries a little. This is relatively normal and something you have seen before.
However, there is a difference between normal teenage unruliness and gang activity. You suspect that your child may have fallen in with the wrong crowd, including a criminal gang. What are some of the signs of this, and what can you do about it?
Flashing the cash
You know that your child wanted a new pair of sneakers. They were an expensive brand, so you explained that you might have to save up for them and buy them as a gift for a special occasion. That was the end of the matter, or so you thought. One day, your child comes home with the new sneakers and a bunch of other clothing items. When asked how they managed to afford it, they told you they’d been saving their allowance, and their grandparents gave them some money. You deem this to be plausible at first, however, upon checking with your parents, they tell you that they haven’t given your child any money recently.
Where did your child get the money from? Gangs will often entice younger people in by promising to look after them and guaranteeing them a luxurious lifestyle.
You and your child have had ups and downs, but you’ve always been close overall. But it’s been weeks since the two of you sat down and had a conversation. They never seem to be at home anymore, and even when they are, they are not interested in talking. Becoming withdrawn from the family is another sign that your child may have gotten into something undesirable.
The above signs don’t necessarily point to gang activity, but they are some of the early warning signs. If your child is caught up with a gang, then it’s only a matter of time before the police come knocking.
Of course, criminal activity has to be proven rather than assumed. Your child may have been stereotyped and done nothing wrong. In any case, you want them to have legal guidance on their side.