Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

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Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby neoteric » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:36 am UTC

After my last backpack broke, I am looking for a new one. Because I am short on cash, I am considering using one of my brother's old backpacks, but I know that marijuana has been transported in this backpack and am uncertain as to whether it will be detected by dogs at school doing routine searches for drugs.

If there is an question as to whether or not it will sniff it out, I would rather just buy a new one and avoid the hassle, but if I throw it in the wash and they won't smell, I'd opt for the cheaper of the solutions.

Anyone know anything about this?
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:13 am UTC

Having a drug dog pick up on your bag is not a crime. If it does catch it, they'll look at it, say "Oh, no marijuana here" and move on.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby SummerGlauFan » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:23 am UTC

I'd say wash it, but yeah, no drugs means you're fine.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby poxic » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:24 am UTC

That said, if you don't want the hassle or questions, dogs' senses of smell are very sensitive. Have you Goog'd around for related info yet?

(Better your search history than mine.)
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:12 am UTC

Just be sure there isn't actually anything left in there.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Sandry » Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:48 am UTC

Have you given a go of just washing it? If it's canvas or whatnot, should be possible to just throw it in a washing machine.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Aardvarki » Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:13 pm UTC

So, when you say "marijuana has been transported in this backpack" - I assume you mean "my brother kept a small bag of pot in this backpack" and not "my brother was a drug smuggler and used this backpack to transport his weed".

Assuming my assumption is correct, you will be more than fine tossing the bag in the wash (honestly, if your brother had a small amount in a ziplock bag in the backpack, it probably doesn't need washed (just aired out), but I understand the paranoia).

If your brother was actually "transporting" marijuana in the bag (carrying very large amounts), or was doing so without bagging it up (dumb!), then I say you should get a new bag.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby DSenette » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:10 pm UTC

i concur, in highschool i semi-regularly transported small to moderate amounts of pot in my backpack. it was always at least single bagged. i would wash my bag maybe once every 3 months or so, but only because i'd walk home in the rain or something and it would get funky. drug dogs at school never made a peep at my bag (never had "anything" in the bag while i was at school, except books of course)...if your brother wasn't a complete idiot, and wasn't "moving weight" then you should be fine
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby neoteric » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:50 am UTC

He kept small quantities in bags, so I put it in the wash today and it sounds like that will be enough.

Thanks
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Dave_Wise » Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:09 am UTC

Cool. And if you do get any hassle, it might be a good idea to have a ham sandwich in there, just so you can waggle it in front of the dog handler's nose by way of explanation and say 'this look like a narcotic to you, mate?'
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Numzane » Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:05 am UTC

Uh, I always thought drug sniffing dogs were better trained than that. You're only going to make the relevant authorities more suspicious by trying something like that, and it's pretty unnecessary if you don't actually have any drugs in your bag...
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Dave_Wise » Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:30 am UTC

Possibly, though I doubt it (the 'training' consists of getting the dogs hooked on the drug in question and letting their instincts do the rest) and anyway the onlookers won't know that. Unnecessary, yes, but it would still be funny.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby dragon » Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:41 pm UTC

In the event that a sniffer dog detected a trace, then I reckon the explanation that it's a second-hand bag should be plenty. Provided it isn't full of drugs at the time, of course.

I don't say this with any sort of experience, but people use second-hand things all the time. It's gotta happen.


What the hell, DW? They're trained with the reward method, for any item detection, not just drugs. Think explosive substance detection.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Dave_Wise » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:53 pm UTC

Oh, really? Because all the coppers I've talked to on the subject tell me different? The system for training a dog to detect explosives, etc. might be more sophisticated, but drug-sniffing dogs are just fed drugs until they get a habit or a taste for the stuff, then allowed to do their dog thing. It's no more advanced than that.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby RoadieRich » Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:35 pm UTC

Dave_Wise wrote:Oh, really? Because all the coppers I've talked to on the subject tell me different? The system for training a dog to detect explosives, etc. might be more sophisticated, but drug-sniffing dogs are just fed drugs until they get a habit or a taste for the stuff, then allowed to do their dog thing. It's no more advanced than that.

[citation needed]
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Kewangji » Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:45 pm UTC

Are those coppers who actually train dogs? And is it possible they just messed with you? It seems kinda strange and probably very unsafe to get a dog hooked on marijuana, coke, meth, etc, I can't imagine that being a well-functioning dog, as abstinence would make it probably volatile.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:45 pm UTC

Dave_Wise wrote:Oh, really? Because all the coppers I've talked to on the subject tell me different? The system for training a dog to detect explosives, etc. might be more sophisticated, but drug-sniffing dogs are just fed drugs until they get a habit or a taste for the stuff, then allowed to do their dog thing. It's no more advanced than that.


That is patently untrue, even a cursory google search would show that 'drug dogs' are trained using the same methods as every other variety of detection dog, using a rewards based, positive reinforcement training regime where the dogs are taught to recognize and react to certain scents.

I mean, use a little common sense. Many drugs, such as marijuana, aren't even addictive, while others are dangerous and, in the case of cocaine, can negatively influence the dog's ability to detect any scent. I'm not sure how a dog addicted to illegal opiates is supposed to be useful for anything.
Drug sniffing dogs are also capable of detecting a number of illegal substances, you don't use different dogs to detect different drugs. Using your method, for one dog to be able to detect multiple drugs, that dog would have to be addicted to a ridiculous number of illegal substances, many of which are dangerous enough on their own without mixing their effects.

Detection dog training also teaches dogs to ignore distractions, such as food (although, there's no guarantee a hungry dog might not go for that ham sandwich anyway)

Not to mention that PETA would absolutely raise hell if there was even a hint that drug dogs were treated with anything less than respect.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Eseell » Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:47 pm UTC

RoadieRich wrote:
Dave_Wise wrote:Oh, really? Because all the coppers I've talked to on the subject tell me different? The system for training a dog to detect explosives, etc. might be more sophisticated, but drug-sniffing dogs are just fed drugs until they get a habit or a taste for the stuff, then allowed to do their dog thing. It's no more advanced than that.

[citation needed]

Oh, look, that's not actually how they work at all.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Dave_Wise » Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:50 pm UTC

Are those coppers who actually train dogs? And is it possible they just messed with you?

Yes and no. In all fairness, the technique might have changed since the late 80s, and might be completely different in the US, but knowing the British police...

I still don't think any dog would be able to resist going for a backpack that had yummy meaty smells coming out of it though. At least not without being told 'leave it' at least once.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby RoadieRich » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:03 pm UTC

You have no experience with well trained dogs then.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Dave_Wise » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:07 pm UTC

Well no, I don't. Why should I? But I'll believe that when I see it.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby SummerGlauFan » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:43 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:
Dave_Wise wrote:Oh, really? Because all the coppers I've talked to on the subject tell me different? The system for training a dog to detect explosives, etc. might be more sophisticated, but drug-sniffing dogs are just fed drugs until they get a habit or a taste for the stuff, then allowed to do their dog thing. It's no more advanced than that.


That is patently untrue, even a cursory google search would show that 'drug dogs' are trained using the same methods as every other variety of detection dog, using a rewards based, positive reinforcement training regime where the dogs are taught to recognize and react to certain scents.

I mean, use a little common sense. Many drugs, such as marijuana, aren't even addictive, while others are dangerous and, in the case of cocaine, can negatively influence the dog's ability to detect any scent. I'm not sure how a dog addicted to illegal opiates is supposed to be useful for anything.
Drug sniffing dogs are also capable of detecting a number of illegal substances, you don't use different dogs to detect different drugs. Using your method, for one dog to be able to detect multiple drugs, that dog would have to be addicted to a ridiculous number of illegal substances, many of which are dangerous enough on their own without mixing their effects.


Hehe, I just had a mental image of a druggie dog trying in vain to light up his joint, snort a line and inject himself all at once.

Really, though, as someone who has worked with sniffing dogs, all that is used is a positive reinforcement system. Sometimes food is the reward (indeed, with some dogs all the food they ever eat is just reward food, and so have to "train" several times a day just to get enough to eat) and sometimes it's other things like toys. One German Shepherd was even rewarded with a piece of pvc pipe, which she used as a chew toy. Yes, it did tend to get broken apart fairly quickly.

EdgarJPublius wrote:
Detection dog training also teaches dogs to ignore distractions, such as food (although, there's no guarantee a hungry dog might not go for that ham sandwich anyway)

Not to mention that PETA would absolutely raise hell if there was even a hint that drug dogs were treated with anything less than respect.


Actually, they are trained to have a certain reaction toward their substance-of-choice (drugs, explosives, whatever). That way the handler can tell the difference between that and "I can eat this!"
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Dave_Wise » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:53 pm UTC

Fair enough.
One German Shepherd was even rewarded with a piece of pvc pipe, which she used as a chew toy. Yes, it did tend to get broken apart fairly quickly.

It's weird how they always go for the one toy that cost nothing, isn't it?
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:07 pm UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:
Detection dog training also teaches dogs to ignore distractions, such as food (although, there's no guarantee a hungry dog might not go for that ham sandwich anyway)

Not to mention that PETA would absolutely raise hell if there was even a hint that drug dogs were treated with anything less than respect.


Actually, they are trained to have a certain reaction toward their substance-of-choice (drugs, explosives, whatever). That way the handler can tell the difference between that and "I can eat this!"


It depends on the training, explosives sniffing dogs are certainly trained to have some particular response that would tend not to set of any explosives, and I have heard that dogs used in airports are generally trained to just sit down near a bag they detect to contain contraband, to avoid damaging luggage/setting of bombs etc.

Drug sniffing dogs may be trained with a variety of particular responses, or may just be trained to go after certain scents to get a reward, with no particular trained response.

At the same time, I imagine some dogs are smart enough to associate the trained response with the positive reinforcement, and not just the scent, so they may use the trained response when they detect something that they want which isn't necessarily what they were trained to detect.

As clever as these dogs are, it's not an exact science, and while all detection dogs are trained using the same general principles, the particulars will differ fromt rainer to trainer,a nd even from dog to dog.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby SummerGlauFan » Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:13 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:
SummerGlauFan wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:
Detection dog training also teaches dogs to ignore distractions, such as food (although, there's no guarantee a hungry dog might not go for that ham sandwich anyway)

Not to mention that PETA would absolutely raise hell if there was even a hint that drug dogs were treated with anything less than respect.


Actually, they are trained to have a certain reaction toward their substance-of-choice (drugs, explosives, whatever). That way the handler can tell the difference between that and "I can eat this!"


It depends on the training, explosives sniffing dogs are certainly trained to have some particular response that would tend not to set of any explosives, and I have heard that dogs used in airports are generally trained to just sit down near a bag they detect to contain contraband, to avoid damaging luggage/setting of bombs etc.

Drug sniffing dogs may be trained with a variety of particular responses, or may just be trained to go after certain scents to get a reward, with no particular trained response.

At the same time, I imagine some dogs are smart enough to associate the trained response with the positive reinforcement, and not just the scent, so they may use the trained response when they detect something that they want which isn't necessarily what they were trained to detect.

As clever as these dogs are, it's not an exact science, and while all detection dogs are trained using the same general principles, the particulars will differ fromt rainer to trainer,a nd even from dog to dog.


Oh they certainly will differ. My point was, though, that generally there is a difference between the reaction they get when they smell their substance, and when they smell food.

This wasn't always the case, though, with drug dogs but many trainers do this now after some drug smugglers used exactly the trick mentioned above; hiding the drugs in food.

Dave_Wise wrote:Fair enough.
One German Shepherd was even rewarded with a piece of pvc pipe, which she used as a chew toy. Yes, it did tend to get broken apart fairly quickly.

It's weird how they always go for the one toy that cost nothing, isn't it?


Actually, the dog couldn't care less about regular dog toys, but will go into hyper-freakout-mode when she sees a length of pipe. Her reaction to drugs is to paw frantically at them.

Incidentally, this dog could not be trained to be a bomb-sniffing dog. ;)
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Dave_Wise » Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:23 pm UTC

What, 'cos of the frantic pawing thing, or the love of pipes? I find that cute. I take it you do this for a living? That's awesome. I'm actually really glad the 'getting the dogs hooked' thing isn't true, although my ex-copper friend has assured me that it is during this conversation.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Alpha Omicron » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:06 am UTC

I'm always surprised to be reminded that some schools have routine drug searches and full-time cops and so forth. It's surreal.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby BigBoss » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:11 am UTC

When I was in high school, you could get suspended just for having a drug dog detect the smell of drugs on your belongings.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby SummerGlauFan » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:24 am UTC

Dave_Wise wrote:What, 'cos of the frantic pawing thing, or the love of pipes? I find that cute. I take it you do this for a living? That's awesome. I'm actually really glad the 'getting the dogs hooked' thing isn't true, although my ex-copper friend has assured me that it is during this conversation.


I don't work with them anymore, sadly. However, that dog can't be a bomb sniffer because of the pawing, yes. ;) It is really cute, too.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby kernelpanic » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:26 am UTC

Dave_Wise wrote:Fair enough.
One German Shepherd was even rewarded with a piece of pvc pipe, which she used as a chew toy. Yes, it did tend to get broken apart fairly quickly.

It's weird how they always go for the one toy that cost nothing, isn't it?

They go for the item you are currently using. Or you can put them a comfy bed but nooo... they have to be on top of your book.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Woofsie » Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:27 am UTC

Alpha Omicron wrote:I'm always surprised to be reminded that some schools have routine drug searches and full-time cops and so forth. It's surreal.

Same here, I can't imagine trying to learn anything in a high-security environment like that. Sounds hella stressful.

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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby RetSpline » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:06 pm UTC

Woofsie wrote:
Alpha Omicron wrote:I'm always surprised to be reminded that some schools have routine drug searches and full-time cops and so forth. It's surreal.

Same here, I can't imagine trying to learn anything in a high-security environment like that. Sounds hella stressful.
In the same way, I can't really understand why people think it's a big deal. I mean, I don't currently go to a school with metal detectors and drug dogs at every entrance, but we do have cameras all over the place, and two armed cops, and about 2-4 random drug dog searches every year. Those are always funny, because you'll occasionally be in class with a kid who finds out that the drug dogs are here and suddenly really, really needs to go to the restroom.

Edit: Forgot to actually make my point. Yeah, it's not really a big deal. I don't really agree with this mentality in general, but it really is a, "Don't do anything wrong, don't have anything to worry about" situation.

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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Dave_Wise » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:59 pm UTC

Yeah, well it's a lot better than a school which needs drug dogs and weapons searches and doesn't have them.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Lounge » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:05 pm UTC

When I was called to Jury Duty Selection they brought a dog into our little holding room. (Where we'd stay until we were brought in to be questioned by the lawyers to decide who they wanted to cut/etc.) I don't know if it was specifically a drug dog our a weapons dog or what, but it was very friendly.

It would approach people and sniff them and let them pet and play with her a bit. The officer bringing her around didn't act the least bit suspicious when she'd start sniffing someone. She was sniffing me for awhile and I was little paranoid because I'd never been near a drug sniffing dog before.

Anyway, the advice I'm trying to give is to just relax around the dog. It's a lot more suspicious if you're nervous. She could be catching a million different scents, and just like any other dog maybe she finds one interesting. (Like my experience, she probably caught the scent of my dogs at home.) They aren't trained to ignore all other scents, they're trained to behave a certain way when they catch the scent of what they are after.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby ftarp » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:28 pm UTC

My school has more than 1100 students, is in the downtown core of a major city, and has a significant marijuana-using population... all we have is an empty patrol car parked at the front. Sometimes I'm happy to live in Canada.

EDIT: Humorous anecdote: the only time I've ever encountered drug dogs was at my middle school, where they did one check every year, since it was in a worse neighbourhood... the only person caught was my gym teacher.

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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby EstLladon » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:08 pm UTC

I have a story about these dogs.

My friend went to China with his old backpack previously used for hiking in mountains and that hadn't been washed for several years probably.

So he is standing in Shanghai airport waiting for his baggage to be sniffed by dogs. And he sees how people before him are dealt with - mostly there is no reaction from the dog and everything is ok. Once in a while the dog suspects something and they ask to open the bag. When the dog sniffed his old and worn backpack it just stopped and peed on the floor. He said he thought we was going to be shot right there.

Everything was ok though.
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Raoul Duke » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:43 am UTC

Dave_Wise wrote:Yeah, well it's a lot better than a school which needs drug dogs and weapons searches and doesn't have them.


I'd still much much rather go to a school that doesn't have them and doesn't need them. The high school I went to had 2000 students, it's the biggest english high school in Quebec and probably one of the biggest in Canada. We had one security guard and he'd only show up for big events like talent shows or sports tournaments, I'd see police there a couple times a year at most. If you got caught smoking the teacher would usually just confiscate it, they'd call your parents and you might get suspended, but the police were hardly ever involved unless you were caught dealing, which would usually mean expulsion.

I know this is all kind of off topic but it really disturbs me when people get casual about things like this, I can't see how this is a positive learning environment.

On another note it'd be interesting if the backpack really was made of canvas, which comes from the latin Cannabis, since canvas was originally made from hemp. Finally worked that into a conversation.

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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Insignificant Deifaction » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:41 pm UTC

Death of 1K Cuts: You become complacent with minor restriction a, and they impose minor restriction b. You become complacent with a and b, and they impose c.

Carry on, until you have the equivalent of major restriction a, and nobody even gives a shit.


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aurumelectrum13
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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby aurumelectrum13 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:15 am UTC

^ This was my thought. No, I'm not doing anything wrong by the school's standards. Nevertheless, get the hell away from my shit.

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Re: Drug Dogs and Old Backpacks

Postby Whelan » Sun May 02, 2010 5:52 pm UTC

Big up the UK. My school must be in the region of 2500 pupils, we have no on-site security or anything. Once, people's bags were searched before a trip because people on the last trip had smuggled vodka in their shampoo bottles though. Oh, and there was a massive search of all the lockers in the school when Blair came visiting but that's it, in nearly 6 years here.
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