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Cannabis possession rises in schools and colleges

PUBLISHED: 13:14 19 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:14 19 July 2020

Cannabis possession offences have risen in Norfolk schools and colleges. Picture: PA Images

Cannabis possession offences have risen in Norfolk schools and colleges. Picture: PA Images

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The number of schoolchildren and students being found with cannabis has risen over the last four years, new figures have shown.

There were 18 offences of cannabis possession at “education establishments” in Norfolk last year, up from 14 recorded in 2015. Picture: PA ImagesThere were 18 offences of cannabis possession at “education establishments” in Norfolk last year, up from 14 recorded in 2015. Picture: PA Images

There were 18 offences of cannabis possession at “education establishments” in Norfolk last year, up from 14 recorded in 2015. The number of cannabis cases reached a peak in 2017 at 21.

Data also shows a rising trend in the number of offences for the possession of controlled drugs like heroin, cocaine and ecstacy in schools and colleges with a single offence being recorded in 2015, rising to six in 2019.

MORE: Fears for children as cannabis sweets hit Norfolk

The figures were provided by Norfolk Police under the Freedom of Information Act by leading drug addiction experts UK Addiction Treatment (UKAT) and is thought to include schools, colleges and universities.

Nuno Albuquerque, treatment lead at UK Addiction Treatment. Picture: UKATNuno Albuquerque, treatment lead at UK Addiction Treatment. Picture: UKAT

The stats do not show a surge but do point to an upward trend and campaigners said it illustrated drugs in schools and other places of education becoming an increasing problem.

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Nuno Albuquerque, treatment lead at UKAT, said: “Our investigation has unearthed every parents worst nightmare; that some children are exposed to and involved in drugs whilst at school; a place they thought they’d be safe at.

Norfolk Police have issued a warning over cannabis sweets. Picture: Norfolk PoliceNorfolk Police have issued a warning over cannabis sweets. Picture: Norfolk Police

“Because of their substance use, the child could miss out on their education, resulting in a lack of employability. They could then turn to crime to fund their lifestyle and to ‘fit in’ with others around them.”

UKAT has launched a free, interactive workshop led by a drug and alcohol specialist on site in schools, colleges and universities to educate pupils on the dangers of substance misuse and peer pressure.

MORE: Schools animation aims to steer young people away from crime

Risks of drug culture at the school gate was illustrated last week when Norfolk’s Safer Schools Team warned that children and young people could be targeted to buy packets of sweets suspected to contain cannabis.

Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green. Picture: Simon ParkinNorfolk Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green. Picture: Simon Parkin

The sweets, packaged to look like Nerd ropes, were found circulating in Norfolk and were being sold for £12.

Meanwhile a hard-hitting new online project featuring ex-offender and former boxer Earl Ling and aimed at steering students away from criminality and the dangers of drug gangs, is currently being seen by thousands of pupils at schools across Norfolk.

Lorne Green, Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner, said: “The work Earl and the team at St Giles have done across the county to date has been vital in helping young people see the real consequences of taking the wrong path in life.”


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