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Dogs help enforce anti-drugs stance

PUBLISHED: 15:25 07 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:20 05 July 2010

A police sniffer dog unit has been brought in to reinforce a college's zero tolerance approach to drugs.

Suffolk police's passive dog unit was called in for the day-long operation at Lowestoft College's St Peter's Street campus and only a few key members of staff were told to ensure the results were an accurate reflection of a normal day.

A police sniffer dog unit has been brought in to reinforce a college's zero tolerance approach to drugs.

Suffolk police's passive dog unit was called in for the day-long operation at Lowestoft College's St Peter's Street campus and only a few key members of staff were told to ensure the results were an accurate reflection of a normal day.

The sniffer dog is trained to identify people who have been in contact directly with drugs or someone else with illegal substances. Some 15 people were searched, although nothing was found on them.

Head of student services Jennifer Langeskov said: “We felt the initiative was a success. While 15 individuals were stopped and searched, none had drugs on their person. This would indicate that both staff and students are aware of the zero tolerance of drugs in the college and are acting in accordance with the rules.

“We felt that this was a useful preventative measure to ensure that students remain aware of the robust stance that is taken. The comments received from staff and students all indicate a positive response to the action taken, which again encourages us in our work to ensure that the college is a safe environment for all.”

Many areas of the campus were targeted, including car parks, walkways and buildings. The initiative was also carried out with the help of the North Lowestoft Safer Neighbourhood Team.

Other colleges, both in the region and nationally, have also used dog searches as a way to ensure drugs are not brought on to their campuses.

A Suffolk police spokesman said passive sniffer dogs were trained to walk among people and sit next to anyone who had some evidence of drugs on them. This could be as a result of them taking drugs, but could mean they have simply been in contact with someone else who is in possession of illegal substances.

The unit is used in a number of initiatives, including targeting people waiting to get into pubs and clubs.

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