A university has invited police sniffer dogs to patrol its campus as part of its zero-tolerance drugs policy.

The University of Buckingham is cracking down on substance misuse by students and is introducing stricter penalties for those found using drugs. Sniffer dogs have already carried out a thorough search of the university’s buildings to make it clear that the use of illegal drugs will not be tolerated.

And university officials have told police that they are welcome to visit the campus at any time to deter students from abusing substances.

Sir Anthony Seldon, vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, said universities must not turn a blind eye to substance misuse.

He said: “Illegal drugs are one of the key factors behind the severely worsening mental health problems in Britain we have been hearing about recently. Pastoral care is a top priority at Buckingham, and, with the University leading the National Student Survey (NSS) for student satisfaction, it would appear that by and large our students are content and, unlike larger universities, we do not have a problem with drug abuse.

“However, we cannot afford to be complacent, and we have joined forces with Thames Valley Police in their town-wide drive to tackle drug misuse.”

Regular patrols will act as a deterrent

The sniffer dog search did not uncover any illegal drug use but officials hope it will send the message that checks are being carried out. Thames Valley Police will now carry out regular patrols to deter students from possessing or selling illegal substances.

And university staff will share information with police in a bid to crack down on drug abuse.

Searches are one way for organisations to send a clear message that drugs will not be tolerated. This approach is sometimes used in conjunction with drugs testing to monitor substance misuse and investigate allegations of drug abuse.

AplhaBiolabs offers workplace drug testing to employers who are keen to uphold a zero-tolerance policy to drugs on their premises. There are a range of tests which can be carried out including random drugs tests and pre-employment screening which can detect substance abuse in potential new recruits.

Some companies also use post-incident testing to establish whether drugs or other substances played a part in accidents or other incidents which have taken place at work.