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Anti-drugs campaigner asks for primary schools to do more to deter children

PUBLISHED: 10:00 06 December 2015

Paul Hannaford talks to youngsters about drugs and knife crime

Paul Hannaford talks to youngsters about drugs and knife crime

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After kicking a £1,000 a week

heroin habit more than 10 years ago, Paul Hannaford is calling on primary schools to do more to deter children from drugs.

The 46-year-old from Romford travels across England holding anti-crime workshops at schools.

Speaking to the Recorder this week he expressed growing concerns that children under 11 are not being taught about the dangers of illegal substances.

He said: “The key to stopping children from getting into drugs is early prevention, so that’s why primary schools have to intervene,

“There is only one primary school in Havering that has asked me to come back every year to talk to the kids. The others don’t bother and that’s worrying.

“It’s simple – if more primary schools don’t start teaching children about drugs then more children will grow up and find out for themselves what they can do.”

A mum-of-three, who wishes to remain anonymous, was so keen for her children, aged between 10 and 20, to be made aware of the dangers she invited Paul to speak to them at home.

She said: “Schools are teaching sex education earlier because kids are having sex sooner so why isn’t it the same with drugs?

“They do get actors in to perform plays relating to the dangers of drugs but that’s not the same as it doesn’t explain what they can do to you and makes it seem almost like fantasy.

“Teachers believe that their pupils are not capable of doing it but anyone is and they are just being ignorant if they think otherwise.”

Paul, who first tried heroin at the age of 19, is eager to promote the advantages of children being taught drug education from an early age.

He said: “Everyone is going to make their own decisions but by making them aware as soon as possible that it is a dark path to go down, hopefully they will be more likely to avoid it altogether.”

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