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School hostel staff thanked as drugs investigation gets under way

Papdale Halls of Residence.

Staff at Papdale Halls of Residence have been praised for their swift action in dealing with a drugs incident, which resulted in five school pupils taking ill on Wednesday night.

A statement released by Police Scotland on Thursday evening explained that two of the young people remained in hospital and that an investigation was under way.

Parents and carers are being urged to ask their children if they have any unknown substances in their possession, particularly a clear capsule that may contain a brown or other coloured liquid.

It is important that anyone with such a capsule, hands it over to their parents, the school, an appropriate adult or the police and not to ingest it.

The statement in full reads: “Police Scotland officers are liaising with NHS Orkney and Orkney Islands Council after five pupils took unwell at the Papdale Halls of Residence in Kirkwall yesterday, Wednesday, January 26, 2022.

“Two young people remain in hospital however medical staff have said their conditions are not causing concern at this time.

“A joint investigation is ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident and enquiries are ongoing.”
Orkney Islands Council (OIC) and partner agencies have issued a plea for parental support in dealing with this situation.
Authorities wish to stress that this is not about punishment, this is about the health and wellbeing of our young people at this time.
A spokeswoman from OIC said: “It’s vital that we all work together to ensure our young people are made aware of the potential dangers of taking substances that they are not familiar with.
“We will be working with the Police, NHS Orkney and the Orkney Drugs Dog charity to further educate and engage with students throughout Orkney schools about the dangers of substance misuse. We would really appreciate any assistance parents and carers can provide.
“Our grateful thanks are extended to the staff at the Papdale Halls of Residence who dealt with the incident swiftly and professionally ensuring the young people concerned received the medical attention and support required.”