A Selby author has teamed up with North Yorkshire Police to deliver sessions in schools on county lines.
Christina Gabbitas, an award-winning author and Honorary Member of the NSPCC Council, has teamed up with the force to deliver the sessions based on her story No More Knives or County Lines. The story is about a group of friends who are groomed into county lines and realise the consequences of carrying a knife. Christina has been delivering sessions with police personnel to help educate children and young people on the themes of the story.
Christina, who has also been working with Humberside Police, said: “This is the most rewarding work that I have ever undertaken. We have been engaging with children from year five to 11. “It’s very sad to know what our children are being exposed to from such a young age. I had a call from a PCSO from another police force asking if I would visit schools in other areas outside of the county stating that they had 13 county lines running and they were all headed up by teenagers. “These teenagers are victims, we need to educate children from primary age to highlight the dangers of becoming involved. “In my sessions I also highlight cannabis edibles as a 10-year-old boy had been approached in a park by a criminal selling the cannabis sweets, fortunately the young boy alerted his parents who in turn contacted the local, policing team. “I’m very passionate about educating children to spot the signs of when they are bring groomed, prevention is always better than trying to pick up the pieces after.”
Children and young people experience a session supported by North Yorkshire’s dedicated Schools Liaison teams to help them understand the topic of grooming, getting caught up in county lines and the consequences of picking up a knife to protect themselves. They also learn how to speak out and share any information that may be concerning them. Christina talks about being an author and concentrates on her latest story No More Knives or County Lines - finalist in the People’s Book Prize. The story has been turned into a 15-minute animation to help engage children through storytelling, which will be shown in the session. More information can be found at www.nomoreknifecrime.co.uk.
Christina Gabbitas has been going into schools to deliver sessions based on her book No More Knives or County Lines. (25-11-05 SU)