Drug incident on decrease in schools

DRUG-related incidents in Suffolk's schools have dramatically decreased over the last three years, police figures have today revealed. An investigation by the Evening Star has revealed police were called to the county's schools nine times in 2003 to deal with complaints about drugs compared with just three incidents in 2005 and one so far this year.

DRUG-related incidents in Suffolk's schools have dramatically decreased over the last three years, police figures have today revealed.

An investigation by the Evening Star has revealed police were called to the county's schools nine times in 2003 to deal with complaints about drugs compared with just three incidents in 2005 and one so far this year.

Jan McDonald, Suffolk County Council's education advisor on personal and social development, said she welcomed the news.

She said: “Overall I am delighted. We work closely with the police and school staff and they are being very proactive on this issue as well.”

But Mrs McDonald did add a note of caution.

She said: “I do not think we have cracked the issue of drugs on schools. These figures are encouraging but it is hard to assess if it is in fact a trend.”

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Mrs McDonald said she thought increased confidence of the county's headteachers in dealing with drug related problems may also account for the reduction in incidents attended by the police.

She said drug education programmes in the county's schools plus improvements in the curriculum had increased awareness of the issues related drug taking among the county's students.

She said: “We also have 45 teachers in the county who have now achieved the national PSHE Certification which focuses on both Sex and Relationships and Drug Education skills development. Alcohol and tobacco remain serious problems for young people and their parents across the country, Mrs McDonald said.

She added: “Parents need to be more aware of the dangers of drinking and the correlation between early smoking and experimentation with illegal drugs. Alcohol, the cause of considerable anti social behaviour, crime and health problems is an illegal drug for school age young people and all schools now have to develop smoking free schools for all including staff.”

Detective Chief Inspector Debbie Griffiths said: “We take the issue of drugs extremely seriously in Suffolk and this is especially the case where young people are involved.

“Fortunately we deal with relatively few incidents in schools and we hope to keep it this way by working closely with them and having regular inputs to young people via our Police Education Partnership Officers.”

What do you think? Is there a drugs problem in your school? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

School/College Incident type Arrests/Charges police comment Date

Northgate High Cannabis found by staff none called by school 6-6-03

Stowmarket High Possession of cannabis reprimand called by school 8-7-03

Hartismere High Possession of cannabis reprimand called by school 25-7-03

Thurston Community Possession of cannabis reprimand called by school 18-9-03

Stowupland High Possession of cannabis reprimand called by school 10-10-03

Gt Cornard Upper Possession of cannabis none called by school 11-11-03

Gt Cornard Upper Possession of cannabis reprimand called by school 9-12-03 Stowmarket High Possession of cannabis reprimand called by school 12-12-03

East Bergholt High Possession of cannabis reprimand called by school 19-12-03

Stanton Primary Possession of amphetamine reprimand in school grounds-not related to pupils 24-1-04

Ipswich School Possession of cannabis none called by school 10-3-04

Woodbridge School Possession of cannabis reprimand called by school 17-3-04

Debenham High Possession of cannabis reprimand called by school 2-4-04

Bacton Middle Information re drug dealing none called by school 30-4-4

Old Newton Primary Possession of cannabis reprimand in school grounds-not related to pupils 8-12-04

Westgate Primary Possession of cannabis reprimand in school grounds-not related to pupils 11-3-05

Bramfield House Possession of cannabis charged called by school 17-5-05

Stowmarket High Possession of cannabis reprimand called by school 20-9-05

Westbourne High Drug dealing outside none called by school 30-1-06

Source -Suffolk Police freedom of information

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