County lines and child criminal exploitation – could you spot the signs


A free play will demonstrate how county lines work and the grooming process

Its hoped a play, which is being performed in Banbury tomorrow (Wednesday), will help educate parents and children about the threats of illegal county lines drugs operations and child criminal exploitation.

For those parents who think this isn’t something they need to worry about, the advice is to ask yourself if you actually know signs that will help you protect your child.

The live performances by Northampton based theatre group Narrative Alchemy will demonstrate how easily a young person can make a friendship and bond, but that relationship then changes so they become dependent.

The show lasts just under an hour and is suitable for parents, professionals and young people in school years 7 and above.

During the play and post-show talk organisers hope to raise awareness of county lines and how they affect young people, the grooming process and where to go for help and advice.

Two performances will take place at the New Futures Centre Hub by the Woodgreen Leisure Centre.   Both are free to attend with funding from the Safer Streets Initiative through Cherwell District Council’s Community Safety Partnership covering the costs.

The performance does tour local schools, but its hoped opening these shows to the wider community will offer parents and those who are home educated a chance to learn more.

Lorraine Squire, the Hill Community Centre Manager, has organised the sessions.   She said: “We know that county lines is an issue across the country and Oxfordshire and Banbury is not immune to that.

“We wanted to give parents the opportunity to be able to see the production about county lines and about the grooming process – how easy it is for these drug dealers to recruit people into county lines.   They will go for any kind of vulnerability and nobody’s immune to it really.

“It affects all socioeconomical groups.”

Performances are at 5.30pm and 6.30pm.   To help with numbers anyone attending is asked to let the organisers know by emailing, although those simply turning up on the night will be made welcome.

More details are available here.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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