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Norfolk police to launch new play at schools to warn of dangers of drug dealing

Police on a raid as part of Operation Gravity. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Police on a raid as part of Operation Gravity. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Norfolk police plan to roll out a play at the county’s high schools to warn young people about the dangers of drug dealing.

Norfolk Constabulary’s Safer Schools Partnership has commissioned the new production of County Lines to educate young people on the dangers of criminal exploitation.

The performances will support the police’s ongoing Operation Gravity, which was launched last December to target transportation of Class A drugs into the county and the violent crime associated with it.

County Lines will target year eight pupils, children aged 12 to 13, and will cover issues including drug dealing, child sexual exploitation, healthy relationships and grooming.

MORE: Six arrested in latest round of Operation Gravity raids in Norwich

Inspector Bex Brown said: “While 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.”

It has been developed by Alter Ego, and will focus on the character of Dex, who recruits a young boy and girl in Norfolk to transport packages from one place to another.

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.”

Aside from the school performances, there will be four public showings of the production for parents, carers and the wider community.

They will be held on:

• Wednesday, October 11 at 6pm at Great Yarmouth Charter Academy (free admission)

• Monday, October 16 at 6pm at East Norfolk Sixth Form, Gorleston (free admission)

• Tuesday, November 14 at 7pm at King’s Lynn Academy (free admission)

• Wednesday, November 22 at 7pm at The Garage in Norwich (tickets are £5 to cover the venue’s cost. Call 01603 283382 to book)

To find out more information, contact Natalie Lake, youth engagement officer, on 101.

If you have concerns about a young person and believe they could be at risk of child criminal exploitation, please call 101.

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