A CHILDREN’S author has been visiting North Yorkshire schools to educate Year 6 pupils on how to identify signs of grooming, drug dealing and knife crime.

Christina Gabbitas, from Selby, has been visiting Year 6 classrooms across York, Scarborough, Ripon, Harrogate, and Brompton Hall, with her book ‘No More Knives or County Lines’, to educate children about the dangers of getting involved in these crimes.

She was commissioned to write this story by the Humber Police, aimed at children aged 10 and upwards, as North Yorkshire has seen cases of children as young as seven getting involved in county lines.

Christina said: “In year six, secondary school is on the horizon where they will undergo changes - I’m passionate about getting these messages across as its a part of life, its the most rewarding topic I’ve covered to help to make a difference to families and communities.

“The story is nothing children haven’t seen already on TV or the internet, its not gory, it helps them to understand the real world and how to notice it happening to them.

“Prevention is always better than picking up the pieces after.”

The characters are aged 10 to 16, who have never been involved with drugs at all, but they were groomed by a ‘friend’’ who gains their trust so they agree to take packages across North Yorkshire.

The story is told in a comic strip format to help to engage children in different mediums, plus an animated version is available on YouTube.

A signed physical copy of the story is given to the children to take home to raise awareness amongst their parents.

Christina said: “A primary school teacher I visited in another county found a student had been a front runner in a county line – these children are victims not criminals and it opened her eyes.”