08:31 Saturday 28 December 2013

School drug programme launched by police team

Written byMARK MCKAY

A POLICE-led drugs programme rolled out in East Staffordshire schools has been highlighted in a police newspaper.

The ground-breaking programme, in which East Staffordshire bobbies have visited schools across the area to outline the dangers of taking drugs, has made the headlines in the national publication Police Life.

The programme, which has also involved recovered addicts and substance misuse workers, has already been rolled out in six schools with plans for more school visits in the pipeline for the New Year,

The visits form part of the Staffordshire Police-led anti-narcotics crackdown Operation Nemesis, in which 20 suspects received more than 90 years in prison sentences.

Chief Inspector Steve Maskrey, based at Burton Police Station, said the programme would help address the root cause of why some people start taking drugs.

He said: “It was agreed from the outset that Operation Nemesis would involve more than just law enforcement.

“It is important we look at the root cause of the problem and go back to young people and harness the power of education in particular.

“This is a new take, it’s about getting to the root cause and becoming a lot more proactive instead of just reactive.”

Parents of addicts also lift the lid to the youngsters about how drug addictions has affected their and their family’s lives.

Chief Insp Maskrey said: “The sessions are very audience-led. There is very little talking on our part.

“It’s about asking the young people what they want to talk about and what they want to know, then having the experts there to answer their questions.

“We work closely with our colleagues in local councils, health services and those who work for Staffordshire’s drug support and treatment services.

“We place a huge emphasis on helping addicts kick the habit and give young people the opportunity to make their own decisions when it comes to drugs.

“We also offer a great deal of support to their parents by attending parents evenings and holding sessions specifically for parents and carers.”

Each pupil will have received information booklets outlining support services to get in touch with should they have more questions about drugs.

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