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Swedish schools deploy drug sniffing dogs

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 3 Mar 2012, 06:57

Published: 03 Mar 2012 06:57 GMT+01:00

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High schools and upper-secondary schools will be targeted in a series of spot checks throughout the spring, according to a report in the Helingborgs Dagblad (HD) daily.

“We will take the chance while pupils are in lessons in their classrooms,” said Olle Olsson at Landskrona police to the newspaper.

The dogs will be used to comb lockers, toilets and corridors for illicit substances and if they pick up the scent of illegal narcotics, then any responsible pupils will be taken in for a drugs test.

The plan, which has previously been adopted in Jämtland in northern Sweden and in Norway, has however come in for criticism from some local politicians.

“My spontaneous reaction is that it is completely reprehensible,” said Leif Olin, a Social Democrat member of the municipal education committee, to HD.

“School should be considered a place of work for pupils and staff and I don’t think sniffer dogs would be sent in undercover in any other workplace,” he added.

The initiative has however received the backing of local Moderate and Liberal Party politicians, while it is underlined that the police are the body responsible for the plan.

Story continues below…

Many schools in the municipality have only recently been informed of the new counter-drugs plan and thus have not yet had the chance to inform parents and pupils.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:02 March 3, 2012 by ?????
Fences, police, dogs in schools...

...at least Guantanamo has a better weather I guess.

The state instead of spending time in informing kids of the dangers they just use force to make them scared. Nice pedagogic system Sweden...
17:34 March 3, 2012 by OUIJA
Poor dogs. They will be high all the time.
18:42 March 3, 2012 by zooeden
Lack of respect, narow minded, big brother police extreme meassures make me sick!!!!
20:39 March 3, 2012 by StockholmSam

As has been proven over and over again in the war against teen smoking, simply informing young people about the dangers of smoking (or in this case, drugs) will do absolutely nothing to curb their interest in trying drugs. In fact, some studies of smokers indicate that they OVERESTIMATE the true dangers of smoking, yet they continue to smoke. So informing them of the dangers of drugs, as you suggest, would be money thrown down a bottomless pit with zero results.

I must say, however, that I do not think this tactic will work. It is heavy-handed and a bit totalitarian for my sensibilities.
01:22 March 4, 2012 by Littleland
In America they would never do this. It's against people's privacy... You all in Sweden have no idea how much drugs there are in even middle schools in the US. Scary. Bring on the dogs!! I'm all for it.
04:01 March 4, 2012 by philster61
Wow. So much for the idea of Sweden being a model state....
06:34 March 4, 2012 by Imperor
Great idea, scare the stoners away from school permanently! That'll "teach" them... Completely retarded politicians with no insight whatsoever.
08:31 March 4, 2012 by johan rebel
One would imagine that schools in Landskrona would be almost completely drug and alcohol free, given the majority religion amongst the students.

Maybe they don't practice what they preach?
13:52 March 4, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
The drug-sniffing dog could become the 'school pet'. Now wouldn't that be a heart-warming 'Aahhh!' story...?
15:48 March 4, 2012 by bobbysingh
Finally a good idea worth supporting. Go for it. Share it's success with other schools and countries in the region. Holland watch out :)
19:10 March 4, 2012 by Frobobbles
Why will only the more responsible pupils get drug tests?
22:16 March 4, 2012 by olga118
In America they would never do this? Having raised children who went through both public and private school in America I can tell you that they would and they do. School lockers and such in America are, at any time, subject to search and they do not need "probable cause". Public school students are in a public building and have no rights regarding search and seizure. Search of personal items such as pocketbooks or backpacks require very little "probable cause".
05:04 March 5, 2012 by Marc the Texan

I went to high school in suburban Houston, Texas in the 1980s. We had drug dogs search us and our lockers during my entire time in high school. That was over 20 years ago. Occasionally they would find some on some students.

I didn't think it was a good idea then or now. For starters, drugs just aren't that dangerous compared to so many other things. Second it just created an adversarial climate between students and school administration. Once you are caught with drugs or alcohol, the re-education programs you are put through do more to damage your future prospects than the drugs themselves. It's such a waste of time, and as a student, your record is permanently tainted. Not a good thing for kids.
06:50 March 5, 2012 by budaboy

What makes you think Holland can learn anything from Sweden regarding this?

They don't waste time in Holland chasing students holding dime bags of dope.

Instead the Dutch government spends millions each year cracking down organized drug smugglers successfully.

Unless it is more then a couple hundred kilo's of coke it wont even make the news anymore, there is no point kicking a kid in the nuts for smoking a spliff, instead they are catching tons and tons of hard drugs before it hits the streets every year again and again....

The Dutch might be liberal with their soft drug policy but they still wont allow hard drugs on the streets, you just don't win the war on drugs by going after a few stoner students.
12:34 March 5, 2012 by soultraveler3
@littleland in comment #5

Lol, did you get into some drugs? I grew up in the states and they brought through police dogs 2 or 3 times per year at high school. All it really did was make about 1/3 of the students skip class for the day to avoid being busted with pot.

Dogs go around schools all the time in the U.S.
16:15 March 9, 2012 by tetrahedron
I think that it is high time that all drugs were put under some sort of legal control. This would not only put a stop to the often violent crime that goes along with it, but it would free up the jails so that paedeophiles, child pornographers and murderers could be given longer senteces as they often get off far too lightly.

I know what I would worry about most for my kids.
18:55 March 9, 2012 by eovti
This has been common practice in Oslo, Norway, for years.

But now it seems the police have to end it, because it's downright unlawful according to Norwegian laws.

But when you're fighting cannabis smoking, it seems that you don't have to adhere to the law... :-(
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