School warns parents of ‘county lines’ drug-dealing dangers

Newmarket Academy hosted a meeting for parents to discuss county lines Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Newmarket Academy hosted a meeting for parents to discuss county lines Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Archant

A meeting hosted by a Suffolk school to highlight the warning signs of county lines involvement and exploitation has been hailed a success.

More than 70 parents attended the meeting at Newmarket Academy and the event follows a similar meeting held at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds in November.

‘County lines’ is where gangs from urban areas like London travel into more rural areas, such as Suffolk, to ply their trade.

Robert Everitt, West Suffolk Council cabinet member for communities, said: “As part of our priority for strong, healthy communities, we are offering these sessions to all West Suffolk parents and schools, working through the West Suffolk Community Safety Partnership.

“The aim is to raise awareness of things parents can look out for and the support available. I am delighted at the level of response to this session and thank all at Newmarket Academy for their commitment.”

MORE: ‘Unprecedented demand’ for places at county lines meetingNeil Fisher, assistant principal at Newmarket Academy, felt the meeting, held on behalf or West Suffolk Council and Suffolk police, was a very constructive exercise.

He said: “The meeting was part of a multi-agency approach to dealing with county lines in Suffolk.

“We saw the response in Bury St Edmunds and felt a county lines meeting in Newmarket would be equally helpful, and so it proved.

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“It was a great opportunity to raise awareness and reassure parents and the meeting went very well.”

Mr Fisher added that the meeting was part of a series of measures at Newmarket Academy aimed at highlighting county lines, including hosting a hard-hitting drama production for year-eight to year-11 students, regular discussions and assemblies.

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