S for S: Government plans to extend Tai Po School Drug Testing Scheme to other districts (with photo)

     The Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, today (September 2) said the Trial Scheme on School Drug Testing in Tai Po District to be implemented in the 2009-10 school year would help the Government formulate future anti-drug policies and effectively apply school drug testing in other districts.

     Speaking at the Kwai Tsing District Fight Crime Committee, Mr Lee said the Government attached great importance to the problems of youths abusing psychotropic substances and the proliferation of drugs in schools.  Mr Lee also took the opportunity to explain to committee members the measures being taken to tackle the problems.

     Mr Lee said, "The Trial Scheme on School Drug Testing has two objectives.  Firstly, it will boost the determination of those students who have not taken any drugs to stay away from drugs.  They will definitely say no to their peers even when they are tempted to try drugs and this will help prevent the spread of drugs in schools.

     "The scheme will also trigger the motivation of those students abusing drugs to quit drugs and seek help, especially those who have tried drugs at an early stage.  The scheme will also ensure appropriate support services are provided to those students who wish to pull themselves out of the drugs environment.

     He stressed that the scheme would be on a voluntary basis.  The voluntary participation of schools, parents and students would be the prerequisite before drug testing took place.  To protect the privacy of the students, all information collected in the testing process would be kept confidential.  The Government would see to it that sufficient resources were allocated to implement the scheme, rendering professional downstream support services to those students in need.

     "We are still in the consultation process about details of the scheme and will adopt an open mind, welcoming views from all sectors of the community.  We will continue to listen with care and are committed to refining the details of the scheme."

     Other than the youth drug abuse problem, Mr Lee also listened to views expressed by members on the district's law and order issues.  Mr Lee thanked members for regularly giving valuable advice to the Fight Crime Committee and for organising various activities to promote public participation in fighting crime.

Ends/Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Issued at HKT 18:12