Arrest' warning to cig youngsters

PUBLISHED: 12:19 10 February 2006 | UPDATED: 21:40 28 May 2010

LIGHT-UP and you could find yourself being arrested. That s the ultimatum given to students at March s Neale-Wade Community College in a bid to prevent them congregating and smoking near a neighbouring garage. A note was sent around the college warning

LIGHT-UP and you could find yourself being arrested."

That's the ultimatum given to students at March's Neale-Wade Community College in a bid to prevent them congregating and smoking near a neighbouring garage.

A note was sent around the college warning students they could be arrested for breach of the peace if they smoked close to the Robin Hood Garage opposite the school.

Gobu Rasalingam, owner of the garage in Wimblington Road, said there had been a marked reduction in the number of students smoking at the back of the kiosk since the message was sent around the school last week.

"I'm really pleased with how the school has been dealing with the situation," he said.

"The best way of tackling the problem has been by working with the school.

"My main concern is students smoking around an area where there is petrol. They need to be away from the boundary of the garage."

There is a sign on the forecourt warning people not to smoke in the boundary of the garage, but Mr Rasalingam said it was ignored by students.

"I've got to think about their safety first," he said.

A Neale-Wade spokesman said: "Smoking is a real concern for most schools and at Neale-Wade there is no exception.

"Students spend time in lessons studying the effects of smoking both in terms of the physical effects and the social effects.

"Last year, we set up a smoking cessation group for a small number of Year 11 students and had some success in terms of keeping off cigarettes for a long time.

"We also work very closely with members of the local community and local agencies to stop students and other visitors, mainly former students from smoking in the locality, especially at the petrol station which is naturally very dangerous.

"And we have told them there is a possibility of arrest if they carry on smoking there."

But a spokesman for Cambridgeshire police said they were unaware of the move.

Garry Prince, a fire safety officer for Fenland, said: "All petrol stations display signs prohibiting smoking, the use of naked flames and mobile phones.

"There is a perceived risk of catastrophic consequences if this prohibition is not enforced.

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