Monthly report from Newton Stewart and the Machars PCs Alison Hannah and Nicola McFadzean

This is the last month before the school summer holidays and, as usual, all schools were busy on the lead up to their six-week holiday.

We visited all 10 of our primary schools and spoke with primary seven pupils who are heading to secondary school. We discussed their new adventure and any worries they might have had. They were all advised of what behaviour was expected of them and how to keep out of trouble with the police.

We visited the boys and girls at Creetown Nursery, where they got to try on the police uniform and have their many questions about the police answered.

Kirkcowan P1-3 pupils visited us at Newton Stewart Police Station, where they were given a guided tour and a talk on how police are there to help.

We ran a good citizens’ trip to the Cocoa Bean Chocolate Factory. Two primary seven pupils from each school were chosen by staff in recognition of their contribution and efforts throughout their primary years.

All schools had a difficult decision to make and in some cases it was so hard that names had to be drawn out of hats. So congratulations to: Erin Monteith, Oscar Biggins, Harry McCreath, Jake Service, Lisa Wright, Lily-Rose MacDonald, Zoe MacMillan, Tara Burnett, Sam Gurling, Rory Beattie, Ivo Wright, Iona Campbell, Aidan Dodds, Scott Cluckie, Briony Lochrie, Amy Farley, Jack Marshall, Erin McPhillips and Charlotte Nash.

We ran a 999 workshop as part of a multi agency event called the Scottish Summer Safety and Drowning Prevention Campaign. This was held at the Douglas Ewart High School with more than 200 pupils in attendance. Our Area Control Room at Dumfries helped us with this by making a mock 999 call to highlight what information the emergency services are looking for.

As part of Operation “Off Watch”, which is our local campaign targeting alcohol-fuelled disorder and underage drinking, we delivered talks to senior pupils at the Douglas Ewart High School.

This presentation showed the less attractive con­sequences of drinking alcohol. We also had the assistance of our Substance Misuse Officer who, together with the Dumfries and Galloway Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP), is hoping to reach out to as many people as possible, particularly young people, to highlight the potential dangers of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), known as legal highs.

DC Scott Jardine, Substance Misuse Officer for Police Scotland Dumfries and Galloway Division, said: “It is important that everybody understands the dangers of taking these substances and the affects they can bring.

“Across Scotland, there has been a rise in the number of incidents involving New Psychoactive Substances. While the Dumfries and Galloway region has small numbers in comparison, we should not be complacent.

“We would like to emphasise that the dangers of these so called ‘legal highs’ are unknown and mixing any legal high with another drug or alcohol can result in even more severe consequences. People should not think that just because they can buy items legally that they are harmless and therefore safe to consume. This is very much not the case. These substances can be professionally packaged and branded, but this doesn’t make them safe or without risk.”

Our Local Pub Watch committee held its quarterly meeting and is fully supportive of this campaign.

And, finally, we are still experiencing break-ins within our area, particularly in remote places, so please keep being vigilant and report any suspicious vehicles or persons in our area.

To report any crimes or suspicious behaviour, call the new police number 101.