POLICE in Burton have outlined their latest tool to be used in their battle against drugs – education.
The force has unveiled details of an educational programme to be rolled out in schools across East Staffordshire in an attempt to spread the message of the dangers drugs pose to youngsters and put a stop to the problem before it has a chance to start.
It is the latest part of the force’s flagship Operation Nemesis, the results of which came to public attention following raids in Burton in January and February, yielding drug-related arrests and seeing 29 people charged.
Burton police say that the scheme will be the most thorough and hard-hitting educational course the borough has ever seen and promise to deliver ‘more than just another Powerpoint presentation.’
PCSO Leigh Yeomans, one of the men leading the scheme, said: “It was agreed from the outset that Operation Nemesis would involve more than just law enforcement.
“It is important that we look at the root cause of the problems and go back to young people and education in particular. We are used to providing top-class operations but that’s where it has ended. This is a new take, it’s about getting to the root cause and becoming proactive instead of reactive.”
The force also insists that Operation Nemesis won’t just be the force’s moment in the sun – that it is only the beginning of a project to benefit schoolchildren for years to come, the foundations of which will be put in place by officers and carried on by the teachers. It is hoped the project will become a regular part of children’s PSHE lessons.
The scheme will be led by the police, but partners from the town, including the Burton Addiction Centre, will also have a major involvement.
Parents of drug users will also provide talks on how drugs have impacted on their lives.
PCSO Yeomans added: “The sessions will be very audience led. There will be very little talking on our part.
“It’s about saying ‘what do you want to talk about? What do you want to know?”