A children’s author based in Blackburn has delivered a session related to her book around the topic of county lines.

Christina Gabbitas took the session at Darwen Library based on her story Trapped in County Lines, which was attended by Darwen Youth Zone, Detective Sergeant Sheralyn Melton of Lancashire Police, Blackburn with Darwen Mayor Cllr Brian Taylor, and members of the public.

The story, which was a finalist in the People’s Book Prize and commissioned by North Yorkshire Police, sees the characters groomed and exploited once again into county lines, resulting in a fatality from a stabbing, and a character going missing.

Adele Karwatt, Blackburn with Darwen library services manager, said: “Christina is tackling a really important topic.

"It’s vital that clear messages are shared with children, young people, and all in our communities, to help prevent children being groomed and exploited.”

Christina also spent time with year five and year six children at Blackburn Central Library, supported by the Blackburn with Darwen policing team with the first story No More Knives or County Lines, commissioned by Humberside Police.

She said: “Since being commissioned in 2019, I hear so many horrific stories about children being exploited by criminals. As a parent, I find it deeply disturbing.

“I was commissioned to write the sequel story due to the positive impact that the first story sessions were having in schools. I have visited more than 400 schools to date with both publications.

“If we can help just one child in each session, we will have achieved something positive. I’m a big believer in the power of words and storytelling for delivering messages.”

Christina will be holding a further event at the Children’s Centre on Roman Road on June 10 with the support of Blackburn with Darwen Police.

To book a free ticket, search for Christina Gabbitas on Eventbrite.co.uk