Drugs on campus
We are working hard to reduce the use and impact of drugs on campus. We are pursuing a number of initiatives, including the use of a drug detection dog, information campaigns and the provision of support and education.
We have a legal duty to provide a safe environment for all our students and staff. We take this responsibility very seriously. Action is taken in the best interests of the whole of our community, students, staff, families and friends, as well as those who live locally. We appreciate that the great majority do not get involved with drugs and we want to keep it that way.
The teams provide a non-threatening means of screening within the education environment. The use of dogs is a non-intrusive means of detection and a visual deterrent to anyone considering possession or trafficking of drugs or other mind-altering substances on University premises.
The University does not tolerate the use of drugs on campus or in accommodation and will take action against users in accordance with the Policy on Drugs and Alcohol (PDF).
For clarity, it is an offence to:
- Possess a controlled substance illegally;
- Possess a controlled substance with intent to supply;
- Supply or offer to supply a controlled drug or so-called ‘legal high’ (even if it is given free);
- Allow a home, flat or office to be used by people taking drugs.
When drugs are found on campus they are passed to the Police who then decide what action to take. Anyone suspected in dealing will be reported to the Police. The University also has a range of penalties which are outlined in the Policy. Equipment related to the use of drugs is confiscated. The Policy is currently being updated.
We operate random inspections of University property as part of our strategy to reduce and eliminate drug use in our community. We use a ‘drug detection dog’, often called a sniffer dog. Please don’t be offended or distressed: these are routine checks and we will be as quick and non-intrusive as possible.
Here is what you can expect if your room in University accommodation is inspected:
- Security staff accompany the dog handler to ensure that the procedure is carried out correctly.
- Security will knock on the door and ask you to open the door.
- If you are in your room you will be advised that your room is being searched by the use of a drug detection dog. You will then be asked if you want to remain in the room or step outside, the dog then does a search lasting approximately 30 seconds.
- If the dog discovers drugs or evidence of use the handler will inform Security and the dog and handler leave the room. You will be given the opportunity to hand over what has been discovered by the dog. However if this is not forthcoming then Security will commence a thorough search of your room.
- Any evidence of drugs and their use will be confiscated and placed in evidence bags.
- The same applies if you are not in your room. You will receive a leaflet stating your room has been searched.
Drug detection dogs are a visible presence at airports, festivals, concerts, sports events and they will also be visible here at the University.
We have had incidents of ‘dealers’ on campus. On at least two occasions known to us they were armed with knives and on one occasion a student was robbed in a campus car park when attempting to buy drugs. While there will always be people who try to take advantage of us they are less likely to come onto campus if we do not ask or encourage them to.
If you have any concerns about the room inspection process, contact the Student Conduct office. If you have any concerns regarding illicit substances, or wish to stop using drugs, contact the Students First team for advice.
- FRANK – Friendly, Confidential Drugs Advice
- MIND – For better Mental Health
- NHS Drug treatment services search
- SMART free advice
- Addaction – mental health, drug and alcohol charity