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Children’s author and police team up to warn about the dangers of drug dealing

Last modified: 22 June 2021 at 03:56pm

Police in Selby and the Yorkshire region have teamed up with a children’s author to spread the message about the dangers of getting involved in drug dealing.

Officers from Selby Neighbourhood Policing Team and the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit attended Selby Children’s Literature Festival at the invitation of children’s author, Christina Gabbitas, in support of the “No More Knives” campaign.

Christina pictured with children at the festival, Police Support Volunteers and Police Community Support Officer, Paula Freeman
Christina pictured with children at the festival, Police Support Volunteers and Police Community Support Officer, Paula Freeman

Christina has produced a comic strip book and an animated video that tells the story of a group of young people who get drawn into a violent world of drug dealing resulting in one of them being stabbed.

Inspector Martin Wedgwood of Selby Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “The festival provided an opportunity for us to meet local children and their parents and raise awareness of the dangerous reality of getting involved with drug dealing and carrying knives.

“Children are groomed by older children and adults who befriend them, give them gifts and money and make them feel like they are special and part of their group. Then it turns ugly and they are forced to ‘work’ for them by selling drugs and are often met with violence. The comic strip and video tell that story in a clear and engaging way.

“Our thanks go to Christina for giving us the opportunity to spread the message about the consequences of drug dealing and carrying knives.”

Detective Inspector Mark Catney of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit, added: “By working with other forces and other key partners we can help to make a real difference in the communities we serve. Educating young people and parents as well as our partners about the risks of serious and organised crime is very important to safeguarding them and ensuring they don’t get caught up in a life of often extreme violence and serious criminality.

Christina and DI Mark Catney
Christina and DI Mark Catney

“I would like to thank Christina for helping to spread this important message.”

Christina, who is also an Honorary Member of the NSPCC Council, added: “I’m grateful for the support that has been shown both locally and nationally. I staged a lot of research before writing the story and realised that children are becoming victims not only by strangers who befriend them but in some cases are also being used by other family members and their acquaintances. The more we can educate children from a young age and all within our communities, the better chance we have at prevention and not trying to pick up the pieces after.

“I have visited schools in various areas with my project and have been engaging with children to understand the possible signs of grooming, and the consequences of getting involved with drugs, county lines and carrying knives. I’m very grateful for the support of the Selby Neighbourhood Policing team and DI Mark Catney at the Selby Children’s Literature Festival”

Watch the video Animation | No More Knife Crime

Read the comic strip No More Knives (nomoreknifecrime.co.uk)

The production of the No More Knives comic strip and video was funded by Humberside’s Police and Crime Commissioner following a successful bid to the Home Office.

 

 

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