SNIFFER dogs should be used to catch teenagers with drugs in schools in Carmarthenshire.
The proposal, along with calls for a zero tolerance clampdown on teenage boozing and drug abuse, was made at a county council committee meeting on Friday.
Carmarthenshire Councillor Huw Richards said: “What a good idea if we had sniffer dog, once a month, working in our comprehensive schools.
“That would certainly put people off and identify the problem.”
Chief Inspector Mark Bleasdale said: “That isn’t something we would be against, but the person with responsibility for that is the school’s head teacher.”
The committee heard that 3,491 school pupils in the county had been asked to fill in anonymous surveys about their drug and drinking habits.
The vast majority admitted trying drugs by the time they were 15.
It revealed 1,055 said they had smoked cannabis, 522 said they had sniffed glue or solvents and 362 had tried magic mushrooms.
Of the total, 74 per cent said they had got drugs from friends, and 45 per cent said their first drugs were free.
Chief Inspector Bleasdale said they could consider using a drug itemiser machine, that scans people’s hands for evidence of drugs.
It is used by police outside nightclubs, but the machine is shared throughout the Dyfed-Powys area.
“That is something we can use if needed,” he added.
Councillor Pam Palmer said she wanted a month of zero tolerance against youths drinking and taking drugs. She said: “I think it’s time we took this by the scruff of the neck and shook out the problem.
“That majority of kids in the county are a credit to us, but there is a small minority who aren’t.”
The inspector said the police did not have enough officers to clamp down everywhere, but instead targeted areas where there was a recognised problem.
He added that overall alcohol and drug-related crime had fallen. In 2006/07, there were 1,352 reported crimes by under-25s.
In 2007/08 there were 1,115 crimes and only 1,101 were reported in 2008/09.
The committee agreed to recommend a zero tolerance clampdown.
It also proposed a new initiative with other organisations to tackle alcohol and drug abuse, as well as more parenting skills courses for schools and colleges.
These will be put to the executive board before they become policy.