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PLAYGROUND CCTV COULD BE USED TO COMBAT DRUG ABUSE IN SCHOOLS

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Scottish executive ministers are considering installing closed-circuit televsion cameras in school playgrounds afte...
Scottish executive ministers are considering installing closed-circuit televsion cameras in school playgrounds after new research showed that one in three 12-year-olds has been offered drugs.

The Times (p3) reports that the measure follows growing evidence of drugs in an environment where parents where parents traditionally believed their children to be safe.

Angus MacKay, the deputy justice minister in the Scottish Parliament, intends to liaise closely with parents on how to protect their children and has promised to consider all suggestions seriously.

He said: 'CCTV in the playground could make a difference to security. If there are dealers it could be one way of deterring their activities, protecting children and making playgrounds safe.'

Mr MacKay fears that children in their first year of secondary school may be particularly vulnerable to drug dealers because they have left their familiar primary school environment and are forced to make new friends.

Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the Education Institute of Scotland, welcomed the proposal but warned that CCTV could simply shift a problem from the playground to another area, although it would prevent some innocent pupils being exposed to drugs in the school environment.

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