The dangers of “county lines” drugs and knives are being highlighted for youngsters in schools across North Yorkshire through a story by an award-winning author.

Christina Gabbitas has been working with North Yorkshire Police to educate children and young people on the dangers of becoming involved in county lines issues with a new specially commissioned story and animation “Trapped in County Lines”.

She worked with schools liaison teams in North Yorkshire with her first story, “No More Knives or County Lines” which is aimed at ten year olds and above. Because of the positive impact this had, the new story has been paid for through Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Zoe Metcalfe.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Christina with youngsters at Rossett School

Christina and the schools liaisons teams have visited Rossett School in Harrogate to talk to 15 and 16-year-olds using the new book and will be visiting other secondary schools in the future.

North Yorkshire High Sheriff Clare Granger said. “It was so brilliant to see the students spellbound by Christina’s story. They could clearly understand how easily they themselves could inadvertently get caught up in the terrifying scenario depicted.”

Christina said: “It’s very rewarding to know that my writing is helping to educate children and young people. I’m a big believer in the power of storytelling for delivering impactful messages. The story sees friends, Siobhan, Ellie, Luke, Jamie and Mo caught up and groomed once again into county lines. In this story there is a fatality from an accidental stabbing, and Luke goes missing.

"We want to help give children and young people a voice. Exploitation can happen to any child anywhere.”

North Yorkshire’s Detective Chief Inspector Carol Kirk said: “Trapped in County Lines demonstrates just how easily and quickly young people can find themselves in risky and frightening situations.

“Whilst police and partners work hard to protect young people, the greatest protection comes from educating young people and parents in how they can keep themselves safe.”