DRUGS dogs could be partrolling the corridors of Dinnington Comprehensive School next term.
Headteacher Paul Blackwell has given police the green light to bring passive drugs dogs into the school in a bid to tackle cannabis use in the town.
In a notice in the latest edition of the school’s newsletter, Mr Blackwell said: “Currently, the police are aware that illegal drugs, in particular cannabis, are available in the Dinnington area.”
“We are keen to ensure that these drugs do not find their way into school and with the view of ensuring a safe environment I have agreed to passive drugs dogs coming into the school premises in the future.”
PC Paul Hamshaw has worked closely with the school over the last three years in his role as Young Person’s Police Officer.
He hopes the possibility of using the dogs will act as both a deterrent, and a reassurance to parents that the town’s drug problem is being kept out of school.
“I don’t think there is a problem with drugs in the school. But the possibility of using these dogs is giving people a warning if they were thinking about it,” he said.
“Cannabis appears to be readily available in the town and the amount of young people who have admitted to using it is frightening.”
“We don’t want it in the community at all but we need to keep it out of school and to keep children safe.”
PC Hamshaw, along with officers would go into school with a drugs dog and dog handler.
The dogs are so sensitive to smell, they can detect whether someone has smoked cannabis the previous night and even whether they have had any in their pockets.
This is not the first time that the school has become involved in the battle against drugs.
Earlier in the year the school ran a course for parents – How To Drug Proof Your Kids – which taught them about drugs, their effects and how to deal with it at home.
One parent, who did not wish to be named, said: “If passive drugs dogs stop illegal substances from finding their way into school then I’m all for it.”
“Children are easily influenced and more so from peer pressure. If the dogs prevent drugs from entering school then it can only be a positive thing.”
School Governor and local councillor Simon Tweed said he “fully supports” the police bringing dogs into the school.
He added: “Unfortunately Dinnington does seem to have a major problem with drugs at the moment.”
“However the police have done a really good job in the last twelve months in targeting known drug dealers within our community and have had some success in closing their operations down and putting the known offenders before the courts.”
“I urge everyone in our town to be vigilant and to keep their eyes open and if they see any type of drug dealing going on in the community to report it to the police straight away.”
“There is no place for this type of behaviour within in our town at all.”
The Guardian was unable to obtain further comments from Mr Blackwell.