Sniffer dogs do the school run in Alicante

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HEADTEACHERS in Alicante City estimate that the studies of five per cent of pupils are affected by drug-taking.

Dealing outside Alicante City secondary schools has, however, fallen by 80 per cent since 2012. This is when Policia Local officers from the Canine Unit began patrolling areas around ‘institutes’ after first introducing themselves – and the dogs – to pupils.

The team recently arrested a 19-year-old for alleged dealing in a park behind the Instituto Cabo de las Huertas. Although availability has been reduced, marijuana and hashish still remain in the orbit of the more streetwise pupils, teachers said.  

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“They consume over the weekend and need until Tuesday to get over it,” said Laura Oliva, head of a Muchamiel secondary school.

When disruptive behaviour in the classroom leads teachers to suspect drug-taking, they talk first to the pupil and then to his or her parents. If a problem exists this can then be tackled both at home and in school.

Government-backed campaigns needed to be more exhaustive and should extend their services, said Oliva. “Appointments are made between three and six months ahead,” lamented Oliva who is also a spokeswoman for the area’s headteachers.

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