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Drugs found during sports day at primary school

Seán Dillon, principal of Primate Dixon Primary School, said the drugs find was an issue of great "concern and anger"
Brendan Hughes

AN investigation has been launched after drugs were found during a sports day at a Co Tyrone primary school.

An illicit substance was discovered in the car park of Primate Dixon Primary School in Coalisland.

The find was made as pupils from nursery age to primary four prepared to take part in their school sports day.

The illegal substance was discovered by a parent and later passed to police who are said to be investigating the matter.

School principal Seán Dillon told parents the drugs were found on the morning of the sports day late last month.

"It is most concerning to have to report to you that an amount of illegal substance was dropped in the school car park," he said in a letter to parents.

"This was found and handed in to the school by a vigilant parent on the way out of sports day. We are very appreciative of this parent's action.

"This substance was passed to the PSNI who are investigating this matter."

It is believed the substance found in the school car park may have been a small amount of cannabis.

Mr Dillon said the school would continue to cooperate with police and would review its CCTV footage.

"The use of illegal substances is a great concern across our community," he said in his letter.

"I am sure you will agree that this is a cause of much greater concern and anger that this can be dropped next to a pedestrian crossing in a primary school of 540 children."

The PSNI said it was unable to comment last night.

Drugs seizures across Northern Ireland have almost doubled in less than a decade from 2,590 seizures in 2006/07 to more than 5,100 during 2014/15, according to police figures.

Last year The Irish News revealed that police recorded almost 1,000 crimes of all types at schools and colleges in the north during 2013 – the equivalent of nearly five offences every school day.

A total of 19 drugs-related offences taking place at or near schools or colleges were reported to the PSNI, according to the Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

Police also arrested 21 young people aged between 12 and 18 over drugs offences at schools in the period from April 2009 to March last year, according to a separate FOI response.

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