Grimsby Institute students get surprise police dog inspection as part of zero tolerance drugs policy
STAFF at the Grimsby Institute taught students they were serious about a zero tolerance drugs policy with a random police dog inspection of the Nun's Corner campus, yesterday .
Officers from Humberside Police, South Yorkshire Police dog handler Paul Brackpool and passive indication drugs dog Duke began their inspection at 9am yesterday, visiting every classroom on the campus, having been invited in by Institute bosses.
The 2,000 students at Nun's Corner received no prior warning, but Duke found just one student holding a small amount of cannabis – although dozens more were searched after he picked up a scent.
Principal Sue Middlehurst said that the exercise was more about sending a message than catching pupils out – which is why students were not told in advance.
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She said: "We had new students in September and have taught them about the values of the college, including our zero tolerance drugs policy.
"This exercise shows that it is not all talk – I mean what I say.
"Social networking means that kids probably knew the police were here within ten minutes, but they also know this could happen again at any time."
The student caught with drugs received a cannabis warning from police – which may not be considered if the student is in trouble for drugs again – and a suspension from the college.
However, Mrs Middlehurst insisted that pupils found to be taking drugs would be offered help before they are shown the door.
"We do not have a drug problem here, but I want to open dialogue so people feel they can talk about it," she said.
"We will offer to help where we can, although if a student is beyond help and having a negative influence on other students, we would have no choice but to exclude them."
Humberside Police have their own police dogs but none like Duke, trained to work with people in bustling environments, such as colleges, nightclubs and music festivals.
The black Labrador is trained to either sit down next to someone or follow them when he catches a scent and recognises a wide rang of drugs, including cannabis, M-Cat, crack cocaine and heroin.
This passive indication is enough evidence for police to search you under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
PC Brackpool said: "The most common false alarms are heart tablets, inhalers and viagra.
"He's a lovely dog and a very effective worker and he does it all for his ball – he loves that ball more than most people love anything."