Powerful play to warn young people about the dangers of drug dealing

12th October 2017

A powerful new play teaching young people the dangers of criminal exploitation and drug dealing is being rolled out in high schools across Norfolk from this week.

Norfolk Constabulary’s Safer Schools Partnership have commissioned the new production ‘County Lines’ to prevent young people from being influenced by the lifestyle drug dealers can offer and educate them about the dangers of criminal exploitation.

The performances will support Norfolk Police’s ongoing Operation Gravity campaign which was launched in December 2016 to target the transportation of Class A drugs in the county and the violent crime associated with it.

Inspector Bex Brown said: “Whilst Operation Gravity is committed to identifying those involved in drug related crime, officers have been working with partner agencies to support those vulnerable members of the community who are – or could be -exploited by criminal groups.

“Education is a key part in ensuring young people spot the signs of this kind of criminal behaviour and prevent them becoming involved.”

The production, which will target the Year 8 age group, explores many issues such as drug dealing, child sexual exploitation, healthy relationships and grooming.

It has been developed by Alter Ego, the same production company behind the highly acclaimed Chelsea’s Choice play which educates young people about child sexual exploitation.

It follows the character of Dex who recruits a young boy and girl in Norfolk to transport ‘packages’ from one place to another, with the promise of high financial rewards and friendship – only for events to take a more sinister turn.

Inspector Brown added: “Many people associate grooming with child sexual exploitation but a child can also be groomed in order to become involved in a criminal lifestyle.

“The schools in Norfolk have been extremely supportive and we look forward to working with them over the coming months to deliver what is a powerful, yet vital message, to the young people of Norfolk.”

As well as the school performances, there will be four public performances of the production for parents, carers and the wider community across the county. They will take place on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 11 October – 6pm at Great Yarmouth Charter Academy (free admission)
  • Monday 16 October – 6pm at East Norfolk Sixth Form, Gorleston (free admission)
  • Tuesday 14 November – 7pm at Kings Lynn Academy (free admission)
  • Wednesday 22 November – 7pm at The Garage, Norwich (Tickets are £5 to cover the venue’s cost – call the Box Office on 01603 283382.)
  • If you would like any further information about the public performances, please contact Natalie Lake, Youth Engagement Officer at Norfolk Constabulary on 101 or via email laken@norfolk.pnn.police.uk

    If you have concerns about a young person and believe they could be at risk of child criminal exploitation, please contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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