PARENTS are being invited to an eye-opening talk on how to keep their children away from the danger of gangs.

Gavin McKenna, founder of Reach Every Generation, will speak to parents about gangs and exploitation at Plume Academy in Maldon.

The session will take place on January 22 at 6.30pm.

Topics covered include what a gang is, how they operate, the risks of joining one, how to avoid them and the support available.

A spokesman said: “Essex has seen an increase in the criminal exploitation of local children for drug dealings by urban street gangs and county lines.

“County lines are gangs, groups or drug networks that supply drugs from urban to suburban areas across the country, using dedicated mobile phone lines.

“They exploit vulnerable adults and children as young as ten to move or store drugs and money using threats, intimidation, violence and weapons.

“Gangs groom children – they don’t discriminate based on ethnicity, religion, gender, age, disability or financial status. Any young person could be at risk of exploitation.”

Entry is free. To book a place, email or call 01245 606919.