Young dealers

Four teenagers in the Eastern Algarve have been arrested for dealing and consuming illegal drugs at their local schools. The first incident involved a 19-year-old student at the EB 2,3 Professor Paula Nogueiro in Olhão. Olhão PSP police officers arrested the teenager after he was caught with four doses of hashish and 75 euros, which he is believed to have earned from selling drugs. Shortly afterwards, the PSP’s special school police division, the Escola Segura, arrested an 18-year-old and a 20-year-old for the same crime.

In a separate incident on the same day, Escola Segura officers arrested two 16-year-olds from Tavira’s secondary school smoking ‘cigarettes’ that contained illegal substances. Apparently, the officers acted after a tip-off from the headmaster. “There is a group of teenagers who meet at the same time between both of our pavilions, so we alerted the Escola Segura team to find out what they were up to,” José Baía explained. Neusa Madeira, headmaster of the Olhão school, explained how she always alerts the Escola Segura officers when she suspects that her students are involved with drugs. “We know that there are students who consume illegal drugs outside of school, but whenever we think that they may be doing it inside school property, we alert the Escola Segura police officers,” she revealed.

In general, underage teenagers who are caught consuming or in possession of small amounts of illegal substances, are referred to the Toxic Dependency Commission (CDT) in Faro instead of being punished for their crimes. Although a third of the teenagers recommended to attend the meetings don’t turn up, the other two thirds find the therapy useful. CDT research has indicated that these students took drugs because of peer pressure, or out of curiosity.