Video bid to stop vulnerable being tricked by County Lines criminals
- Credit: Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board
Action is being taken to try to stop criminals, including County Lines drug dealers, from exploiting some of Norfolk's most vulnerable people.
A new video has been produced to help people with learning disabilities and autism understand the differences between good friendships and those which might be harmful.
Commissioned by Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board (NSAB), the animated 'Tricky Friends' video gets across messages about County Lines, exploitation and cuckooing.
Cuckooing is a practice in which drug dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to use it as a base for county lines drug dealing.
NSAB hope 'Tricky Friends' will be used to help people to think about the issues, to start conversations with their genuine friends, and to keep them safer while enjoying friendships.
Heather Roach, the recently appointed new chair of the county's safeguarding adults board, said: "Over the last few years, NSAB has had a number of discussions with groups and organisations in Norfolk who support people with learning disabilities and autism, about how to raise awareness of issues like exploitation, County Lines and cuckooing.
“It is important that people with learning disabilities and autism, those who have cognitive difficulties, and also children and young adults, have positive opportunities to make and maintain friendships.
"We want to help them to do this, to reduce the risk of harm and exploitation in groups who may be less able to recognise the intentions of others.”
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Ryan Hardy, a member of the Norfolk All-age Autism Partnership, welcomed the video.
He said: “I believe this video is a great step in the right direction of enabling autistic people to have a voice and for those who are most vulnerable to know when to speak out.
"There is so much to learn and be aware of, this video has the potential to bring about some real good.”
The video, launched at the Independence Matters Community Hub in Dereham, is on the NSAB website at www.norfolksafeguardingadultsboard.info/about-us/current-campaigns/tricky-friends-animation/