Joan Collins
AROUND 100 officers from the National Police Force and 600 from the Guardia Civil will check all the Balearic schools and their surrounding areas to prevent drug taking and trafficking amongst the students. This action is part of a special plan designed by the central Government, which is also planning inspections of leisure centres. The central Government representative to the islands, Ramon Socias, explained yesterday the details of this plan to fight drug trafficking on a small scale and the taking of narcotics by children. Three projects have already started, in Palma, Manacor and Ibiza, during which quantities of hashish and marijuana have been seized.
Of the total of national police officers who will take part in this plan, 75 will be in uniform as a deterrent to the sale of drugs and 25 will be in plain clothes to detect the distribution and consumption of narcotics in educational centres. The 600 Guardia Civil officers who will take part in the exercise will have specific times to patrol.
These times will coincide with break times and the start and finish time of schools and colleges because these are the times when “there is more activity of this nature”, said Socias. For the implementation of this plan, which will have a duration of two years, a map has been designed showing high risk places, where trade in drugs has been discovered before. Socias refused to say where these were because it could compromise the success of the operation. The officers assigned to this programme will also cover extra curricular activities which have a great number of students attending but their activity will be confined to the exterior of the buildings, except in cases where they are asked to operate inside. In this case, the officers involved would be in plain clothes to avoid provoking a “violent” situation in the building.
Socias has called three meetings for next week in which he will explain the plan to, and call for the cooperation of, the Parents Associations, the Balearic Ministry of Education, organisations in the educational sector, teachers and the teachers' unions. The application of the plan will be reviewed every three months so that the effectiveness of the operations can be evaluated and to see if it is necessary to increase the punishments imposed. This programme has been designed to combat the rise in consumption of drugs in schools and the drop in the age at which young people start to take narcotics. If the Government's representative is satisfied that the plan is working, he will step up the security in these areas.
This plan is part of the national Government's crackdown on the sale and consumption of illegal drugs in schools and leisure centres.

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