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‘Worrying’ number of kids caught with drugs in school

Schoolchildren as young as eight have been caught with drugs at school, according to new figures

 

Data from police forces across England and Wales shows that Class A drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine are among the illegal substances making their way into playgrounds.

More than 2,000 incidents and offences were recorded over the last four years.

The figures, from 34 police forces, were obtained by the Press Association news agency (PA) under the Freedom of Information Act.

They revealed an eight-year-old and a nine-year-old in Staffordshire primary schools who were caught with cannabis and a 14-year-old in Greater Manchester caught in possession of heroin with a street value of £500.

Teachers have described the figures as a “worry”.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, said: “Any incident of drugs on school premises is worrying as it will often only be the tip of the iceberg of what young people are encountering on the streets.

“Teachers and school leaders are always alert to the potential for young people being involved in drug or alcohol abuse.

“Unfortunately, many of the programmes and specialist support on which schools could rely to assist them in supporting and educating young people in the perils of substance abuse have been cut under this coalition government.”

Cannabis, the most widely used illegal drug in the UK, was involved in 625 incidents and offences, more than any other substance.

Cocaine was present in 27 cases, with police also confiscating others such as LSD, ecstasy and amphetamines.

Hampshire was found to have the highest number of incidents and offences in the three years to March 2014, with 229 cases.

And it wasn’t just children who were found in trouble at the school gates.

The stats show that parents were also caught with drugs on school premises.

One parent was found to have 20 tranquillisers in Lancashire and another, a 19-year-old mum in Leicestershire, was caught with cannabis.

For more information about how to communicate to your children about drugs visit: http://www.drugabuse.gov

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