A SERIES of theatre productions have been held in schools to raise awareness of knife-crime and gangs.

Secondary schools across the district, including Hedingham School in Sible Hedingham, Notley High School in Braintree, and New Rickstones Academy in Witham, have hosted a performance of Breaking the Chain to inform students of the dangers of knives.

The show was put on by drama group Alter Ego and forms part of a wider project run by Greenfields Community Housing and members of the Braintree Community Safety Partnership, including Essex Police and Braintree Council.

In addition to the school performances, there are also two productions at Greenfields House aimed at parents and carers during the same week.

Katee Swallow, from Greenfields, said: "The role of the Safety Partnership is to work together to reduce crime and disorder.

"We want to help teenagers to ‘break the chain’ by learning how to deal with pressure to carry a knife, the consequences of violence and how to seek help and advice."

A spokesman from Essex Police said: "The students were all engaged with the performance, it was very well delivered and clearly very impactive.

"We hope to run similar multiagency events in the future in a bid to keep the community a safer and nicer place to be a part of."