Police being trained in drug awareness – Police Narcotics Branch Head

As reports continue to surface about drugs being found in various schools across the country, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) is upping the ante in training more ranks in the field of drug awareness in order to monitor these schools at least once a month.
This is according to Head of the Police Narcotics Branch, Senior Superintendent Kurleigh Simon, who on Saturday told the media that the GPF hopes to make a positive impact in curbing the issue of drugs being distributed in schools.
“As part of our drug demand reduction strategy, 25 ranks across the GPF are on training right now dealing with the drug awareness reduction education programme. Those ranks will be going back to respective divisions and be responsible for going to schools across the regions to spread the “don’t get involved” slogan. This is to minimise the use of young people, students getting involved in drug use,” he explained.
Senior Superintendent Simon stated that only recently, the GFC in collaboration with the Education Ministry and the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) paid a visit to President’s College in this regard.
“We interacted with over 200 students because it was believed that maybe drug usage is taking place in President’s College. So that is part of our drug reduction strategy and we are going to continue training police ranks so that you could have ranks as much as possible to visit maybe every single school. Maybe that rank will be responsible for going there on a weekly or monthly basis to conduct those training programmes.”
According to the Senior Superintendent, the trained officers who will be deployed throughout the length and breadth of Guyana should be able to make a positive impact on the situation of school children using drugs.
“The more educated you are, the better choices you make,” he added.
Less than six months ago, Deputy Head of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), Lesley Ramlall had confirmed that investigations by his Unit led to the discovery of ecstasy in at least five schools across the country.
Referring to it as a “worrying trend”, Ramlall at that time said that children came forward and admitted to utilising the recreational drug, which led to the arrests of some persons.
He also divulged that the schools at the centre of the drug usage were located predominantly in Regions Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) and Four (Demerara-Mahaica).
Presently, according to reports from the Education Ministry sent to CANU, these two regions continue to be at the top of the list in this regard. (Kristen Macklingam)