County Lines … a theatre play to raise awareness

Swindon College welcomed AlterEgo Creative Solutions on Tuesday 12th March, who performed a play to raise awareness of County Lines.  This event was organised in conjunction with Swindon Borough Council.



AlterEgo Creative Solutions were commissioned by Norfolk Constabulary to develop an Applied Theatre play to raise awareness around Child Criminal Exploitation – specifically the strand of the County Lines drug trafficking model that sees vulnerable adults and young people targeted by organised groups and gangs to groom, trick, trap and manipulate them into trafficking drugs and sometimes weapons.



The County Lines play enacts how young people could be drawn into criminal activity, especially by people like the lead character, Dex… 


Meet Dex. He’s a nice guy. He’ll offer you money. He’ll offer you drugs. He’ll be generous. He’ll make you feel important. He’ll make you feel part of something. He’ll make your life exciting. He’ll do whatever it takes to get you working for him and his mates… and when you do…


Meet Dex. He’s a scary guy. He’ll say you owe him money. He’ll make you deal drugs and move packages. He’ll blackmail you. He’ll be violent. He’ll make you feel terrified. He’ll turn your life upside down. He’ll do whatever it takes to keep you working for him and his mates…


And he’s good at it. He knows he’ll get you because he knows you’ll make bad decisions… bad choices. Dex runs the County Lines.



Tanya Westall, Head of Student Experience said: “AlterEgo’s County Lines production pulls no punches and raises awareness of the issues young people around the country are facing in their local towns and areas.  This production tackles all areas of the Child Criminal Exploitation process and has shown our students how easy it is to become criminally exploited and how often, they may not realise it is happening to them.  Although hard hitting the production spends time at the end talking about this issue, breaking down the different elements of the play and crucially what to do if a young person thinks they or someone they know is being exploited.”



With just three actors performing the play, this has obviously had a powerful impact on the students given their comments afterwards.  They said it was eye-opening, and Goncalo Mendes, a Business Studies student said “It was good and very informative.  It helped me to understand how easy it is to be pulled into crime”.



(Character and AlterEgo information sourced from AlterEgo Creative Solutions website with permission)