POLICE have joined forces with a children's author in North Yorkshire to help deliver a key message on the dangers of county lines drug dealing.

North Yorkshire Police 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.

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.”

During the sessions, 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 from 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.

Selby-based author, Christina, who is also an honorary member of the NSPCC Council, said: "The children were really engaged. 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.”