There is a new worrying trend affecting New South Wales schools, with drug related offences at an all time high since data began being recorded in 2003 according to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
In 2014 alone, police were involved in 377 separate drug related incidences in NSW schools, nearly double the amount of drug related incidences that were recorded in 2008. According to father Chris Riley, the founder of “Youth off the Streets”, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Father Chris Riley says the drug problem in NSW schools is a lot worse then the statistics would suggest, saying that young people are smart enough not to get caught.
The trend is a worrying one with 9/10 recorded incidences occurring on school campus’ during regular school hours. Over the course of the year this equates to 1.7 drug related offences happening in NSW schools every single day.
The recorded incidences are not simply students being caught in possession of drugs, with reports showing that students are being charged with a number of different crimes including possession, dealing and trafficking. The trend isn’t one simply affecting high school students with reports that children as young as 8 years old have been caught with illicit substances at school.
For more information on drug offences, and their penalties, click here.
What steps are schools taking to help the drug problem facing NSW schools?
Currently schools have been employing a range of drug and alcohol related prevention programs aimed at teaching students about the dangers of drug use. The bulk of these programs are contained within the PD/H/PE curriculum. NSW police spokesman are also employed by schools in NSW to hold discussions with students about the dangers of the use of drugs.
According to father Chris Riley, schools and the Department of Education are still not doing enough. In light of the recent statistics, he suggests that every school must have a counselor who can deal specifically with drug and alcohol issues. He contends that more support must be provided for at risk students and that the current drug prevention programs being employed in NSW are obviously not working.
What charges are student offenders likely to face?
It is likely that a student will be charged under the Young Offenders Act and where possible will be handled with a caution which results in no criminal record for the student. It is also possible that an official warning could be given to a student. This will result in the warning being recorded under the young persons name until they reach the age of 21 at which time it will be expunged.
In more serious matters where a caution or warning is not appropriate a young person could be dealt with under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act.
If you or a loved one is having trouble with the law, or has a drug related problem, Father Chris Riley’s help can be found at his website:
What happens if a child is charged with a criminal offence and is required to attend court?- Drug Charges for Juveniles
A charge under this act could have serious repercussions for the student who when charged under this act could face serious fines, community service or if warranted could even be sent to gaol. Whilst Children are often dealt with more leniently than adult offenders, if you or anybody that you know has been charged with a drug offence it can be life altering, enlisting the services of a well experienced lawyer will make the process run as smoothly as possible.
For expert help call LY Lawyers, the drug experts for an initial free consultation on 1300 595 299.