Police and Children’s author work together to deliver a key message on the dangers of County Lines drug dealing
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North Yorkshire Police's Schools Liaison team have joined together with award winning author Christina Gabbitas to deliver a series of hard-hitting, powerful, and impactful messages to students in the Harrogate and Scarborough areas.
Local year six children have benefited from the one-hour session which saw topics such as grooming, county lines and the consequences of taking drugs been discussed openly. A video was played which showed a group of young people who get drawn into the dangerous world of drug dealing resulting in one of them being stabbed. The children then provided key messages form the video which Christina put into a poem. At the end of the session a “No more knives or County Lines” work booklet was handed to the children this includes a quiz, key messaging, and contact details for support networks.
Local PCSOs who are also members of the North Yorkshire Police Schools Liaison Team used the opportunity to build a relationship with the children, they were also on hand to help answer some of the many questions that they had following the session.
Lorraine Crossman Smith Chief Inspector at North Yorkshire Police said: “Although North Yorkshire is one of the safest places to live, we still see children and young people exploited into county lines.” “Education at an early stage is crucial to steer children away from falling into a criminal lifestyle. I attended one of Christina’s sessions and found it encouraging to see some of the key messages landing with the children. I would like to thank Christina for her help in delivering the session.” “The week of intensification was about disrupting drug dealing and the supply of drugs in North Yorkshire. Education plays a key part in that and I am pleased that we have been running these sessions at the same time as the proactive work.”
Christina C, who is also an Honorary Member of the NSPCC Council, added: “The children were really engaged, and I could tell this by how they were responding to the class poem at the end. 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 and young people to understand the possible signs of grooming, and the consequences of getting involved with drugs, county lines and carrying knives.”