Trapped in County Lines

By: Christina Gabbitas
Published by:

Poems and Pictures Ltd

ISBN: 9781916254275
Genre: Age 12 with 80 illustrations
Publication date: 10/12/2023
Price: 4.50


It’s three years since Siobhan, Ellie, Luke, Jamie, and Mo met gang leader Steve after hanging out in their local park. All five friends were arrested and taken to the police station for questioning after becoming involved in drug running (county lines). Jamie had been stabbed in the leg. Are they criminals or are they victims? The sequel story to No More Knives County Lines sees teenage friends groomed once again into a county lines drugs network with far reaching consequences.

Author's Biography

Christina Gabbitas is a children’s author and founder of Children’s Literature Festivals charity, who spends a lot of her time within schools inspiring children to read and write through her books. Winner of a Sue Ryder Education award in 2016, TPBP Dame Beryl Bainbridge Award in 2017 and TPBP Best Achievement Award in 2019 for ‘Share Some Secrets’ a story that encourages children to speak out. Winner of the Best Publisher for Lockdown Life in 2021. Christina is an Honorary Member of the NSPCC Council. She has had partnerships with a number of organisations, her latest is with North Yorkshire Police who commissioned the story, funded by The Office of North Yorkshire Police Fire & Crime Commissioner. Christina has visited over 150 schools with policing teams and was invited to speak at the British Association of Women in Policing about positive working partnerships.


To protect children from the clutches of County Lines exploiters recognising exploitation is vital and this story illustrates how easily grooming can happen. Previously focusing on primary schools, this latest book is aimed at years seven, eight and nine—engaging children during their most informative years. An important and timely read.
Sonya Jones, MBE
Shropshire Service Manager and Safeguarding Lead at drugs, alcohol and mental health charity With You

It has been a privilege to observe the efforts that Christina goes to whilst making her stories realistic and accurate. The time taken in the planning and attention to detail means that the storyline she has created in Trapped in County Lines demonstrates just how easily and quickly young people can find themselves in risky and frightening situations. Whilst police and partners work hard to protect young people, the greatest protection comes from educating young people and parents in how they can keep themselves safe. This project delivers that message in a clear and practical way. Although the control and fear is very real to victims of exploitation, there are people who are ready, able and willing to help if you can find a way to speak out.
Carol Kirk
Detective Chief Inspector 543, Crime Commander York and Selby (City Command) North Yorkshire Police


  1. This book should be in every school in the country!

  2. Brilliant book on an important topic

  3. Excellent story line and sadly relevant.

  4. Much needed. Well done

  5. It was so brilliant to see the students spellbound by Christina’s story. They could clearly understand how easily they themselves could inadvertently get caught up in the terrifying scenario Christina’s brilliant story depicted.

  6. Great storyline

  7. A big problem which needs addressing sooner rather than later & Christina has found a brilliant way to start.

  8. Good educational story for young people. Good luck.

  9. Good story that sadly shows what can happen in real life.

  10. A must read. Spread the word and give this book for Christmas.

  11. Thought provoking.

  12. This is a must in all schools. A family member (age 13) has been groomed.

  13. An urgently-needed story by a compelling storyteller who puts young people at the heart of her practice 🙂

  14. More education in our schools is needed. This story with its accompanying animation is a brilliant idea.

  15. I think its excellent how the story took such complex themes and condensed it down into a short but a very, very, real and shocking snippet, and I really liked that it included the cuckooing element which we do teach the children in PSHE but they find it difficult to get their heads around. The way that Christina has put the storyline together enables the students to visualise and shockingly see how easily it can happen.
    It was very impactful. The students were taking about the session in the corridors and have been asking question about it since. It’s really important and valuable to have these books and resources in our schools.

  16. Has a very important message for young people. Needs to be in senior schools around the country.

  17. Fantastic message that needs to be in every school! I was a Police Officer for over thirty years and now a Volunteer for more than ten years and this is a critical way to SAVE LIVES! This resonates with children and will make a difference.

  18. An invaluable tool to educate and liberate, a must for every bookshelf!

  19. An important book that communicates crucial issues very clearly and well. She does this within a captivating story, with a strong and relevant message. I think this book should be available in every school.

  20. I think this book should be in all Pupil Referral Units to those who are easily influenced to be aware.

  21. This book is a great way to engage with young people to think about the risks of County Lines. Soroptimists in Yorkshire support all the work that Christina is doing

  22. Education on County lines is so important. Well done Christina!

  23. My son was groomed and exploited (age 14) despite coming from a loving family. He was a victim for which all our family paid a price. It started with Cannabis and led onto Cocaine and the rest is history. We all had to move away from our location. This story gives a very important message.

  24. Great way to get the message across. Good luck.

  25. Read, comment and vote!

  26. Very important comments. Let us eradicate this cancer.

  27. Today we were delighted to welcome award-winning author Christina Gabbitas who came to speak with our Year 9 students about County Lines. Christina’s books ‘No More Knives’ and ‘Trapped in County Lines’ illustrate real life stories and link to the work our students have been covering in Life Skills lessons this term.
    Christina worked with Humberside Police whilst researching for No More Knives in 2019, and after the success of this book, North Yorkshire Police asked her to work on a sequel. She conducts extensive research talking to Police personnel and those affected by crimes associated with County Lines – including a former crime group member who saw his best friend shot. Whilst the books are aimed at young people from age 10 years upwards they are hard hitting and based on true stories and events.
    The animations the students watched bring each of the books to life with voice-overs by young people aged between 12 and 25. They show just how quickly young people can find themselves in risky and frightening situations.
    Each Year 9 student was gifted a copy of ‘Trapped in County Lines’ and Christina reminded them that if they are approached in any of the situations covered that they should speak with an adult they trust, whether that’s a parent or relative, school pastoral leader or teacher, or parent of a friend – or even Childline where someone is there online, on the phone whenever they need.

  28. We had a visit on Child Exploitation Awareness Day – Christina was commissioned to write a book called ‘Trapped by County Lines’. It tells the story of youngsters groomed and exploited into county lines crime and facing the consequences, and explores the harrowing experiences of a character whose home is taken over by a criminal group, leading to a fatality and one of the characters going missing. We held assemblies throughout the day to make this message clear.
    She is currently collaborating with several police forces to deliver informative sessions in secondary schools, highlighting the crucial role early intervention plays in safeguarding young individuals. Her talks go beyond the pages, providing students with a firsthand understanding of critical issues like exploitation and county lines. This approach not only empowers students to make informed decisions but also fosters open dialogue, creating a supportive environment for addressing concerns.

  29. I watched a great interview BBC TV had with the author Christina Gabbitas. Well done BBC in bringing this book to the attention of as many people as possible. And of course well done Christina.

    Libraries across the country should have them as well as it should be made compulsory reading in schools also across the country. The aim should be to eradicate this cancer affecting and afflicting so many.

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