Renowned West Yorkshire playwright turning words into action against child criminal exploitation

A John Godber online original is receiving its premiere, in a bid to combat the scourge of child criminal exploitation (CCE).

18th March 2022

A John Godber online original is receiving its premiere, in a bid to combat the scourge of child criminal exploitation (CCE).

The renowned West Yorkshire playwright has written and produced a short film entitled ‘Not Round Here’ lifting the lid on many of the associated behaviours.

Funded by the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), it officially launches today (18/03) at the Wakefield Theatre Royal, coinciding with National Child Exploitation Awareness Day.

It captures the story of two young people in a local community, exploring their relationships and experiences with the issues.

CCE often involves organised crime groups who build up a friendship with an individual, but then force them into criminal activities such as transporting, storing or selling drugs, money laundering and violence.

The young person often doesn’t realise they are being exploited and are led to believe that the offender is their friend, receiving gifts such as money, cigarettes, drugs and alcohol.

John Godber OBE, who was born in Upton, Pontefract said he felt a very personal responsibility to address the subject:

“As a former teacher in the area and a father, I was more than happy to help spread the word to young people about being alert to the dangers, and hopefully to have delivered the message in a pithy accessible manner."

West Yorkshire’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe OBE, is attending the launch and said:

“National Child Exploitation Awareness Day provides the perfect platform to launch this short film and to amplify the important messages it addresses.

“Many young people often do not realise that they are being exploited, and we must do everything we can to highlight the signs in a way that they can fully comprehend and associate with.

“John Godber’s style is internationally recognised, and I think this latest online production will really hit home across its intended audience.”

Director of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), Chief Superintendent Jackie Marsh added:

“It is fantastic to have such an influential figure as John Godber behind this short film, as his knowledge and treatment of the story has given it the necessary local relevance and gravitas.

“Being from the area, he has a great connection with our communities and how they feel about these difficult and often hidden issues.

“Using his skills and expertise, he has been able to shine a light on Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) and the many ways it can manifest itself.

“Even if it is enough to divert just one young life away from this path, this VRU investment will have been worth it.

“We continue to do all we can to raise awareness of these awful crimes and place the pressure upon the perpetrators.”