Wiltshire School Pupils Scanned By Police Sniffer Dog

According to ThisisWiltshire.co.uk, children as young as 11 were being scanned by a police dog unit at the gates of a secondary school yesterday in a drug awareness operation. Several officers were stationed at the entrance of Kingsdown School in Stratton St Margaret, while while a passive drugs dog named Patch searched students with his handler.

Patch and his handler, Steve Duffy patrolled outside the school grounds and other knjown gathering sites. No arrests or seizures were made during the operation, which ran between 8.30am and 9am – as the children walked into school.

Headteacher Wendy Conaghan said the school was working closely with the local police to help educate pupils about the dangers of drugs.

She told ThisisWiltshire.co.uk: “Kingsdown does not have a problem with drugs and this is an extension of the work the police are already doing at the school. Prevention is better than the cure. It’s all about educating the students – we cannot make choices for them but we can do as much as we can to make sure those choices are the most informed they can be. They already have PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) and citizenship lessons and they all get drug and alcohol advice.”

Upper Stratton community beat manager PC Frank Key told the newspaper the result was a positive one for the school.

He said: “In this case action can speak louder than words and for students to see the dog out there and the officers makes the point more clearly.

“It also shows to the parents that the school and the police are taking the welfare of their children seriously.”

“From our point of view the school gives us the best age range of youngsters to get the message out to.

“It’s great that the school can assist us in taking the lead in promoting the educational message – and the operation has been to reinforce it to students.”

More Information

Passive drugs dogs are trained to sniff and sit when they pick up the scent of drugs rather than bark. Watch this video to see passive drug dogs in training!

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