Head teachers at every secondary school in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk (pictured) wrote to families
Thousands of school parents have been warned that their children are at risk of falling prey to county gangs in an affluent market town “poisoned” by drugs.
School principals from every secondary school in Bury St Edmunds wrote to families urging them to attend a public meeting “to protect young people from the increasing risks they face”.
The extraordinary move comes as The Mail today reveals the scandal of a town boy who became a killer at 17 after being recruited by a gang to sell drugs at lunchtime at the school from the age of 13.
Kieran Hayward was a popular kid from a loving, hardworking family based in a quiet cul-de-sac.
He descended on a hardened drug dealer who used Premier Inn hotel rooms to sell crack cocaine after he was forced out of high school. For four years, his parents fought to save the teenager, appealing to all official authorities. But last month Hayward was jailed for life at Ipswich Crown Court for stabbing an addict to death with a knife.
The day before, he had arranged for a gang member to buy him a machete at a store in Southend. Today, a Daily Mail survey can reveal how:
- Hayward started dealing drugs at school lunchtime, but the police and teachers reportedly stood there saying there was nothing they could do;
- When the 15-year-old was kicked out of school, his school arranged for him to take online classes from home for just an hour a day, leaving him free to deal drugs;
- Surprisingly, after he goes missing and is found alive in a drug den, his parents say the police dropped him off at a train station so he could return.
- Social services fired the teen several times, telling his parents there was little they could do.
During his six-week trial in August, Hayward was described as a boy from a “quite decent” family who sent him to an exceptional high school, Upper County in Bury St Edmunds. It wasn’t enough to save him from the clutches of a drug gang.
The school, which was heavily criticized in a recent Ofsted report for “protecting its weaknesses”, declined to comment on the case.
It comes after Kieran Hayward, 17 (pictured), who grew up in the area, was jailed for murder over apparent drug theft.
It has partnered with nine other high schools to warn parents of the dangers of drug gangs. On Monday, Colin Shaw of West Suffolk College wrote to parents inviting them to a public meeting on Monday.
He said: âWe are writing to you collectively as principals and principals of schools and colleges in and around Bury St Edmunds about the growing problem of county boundaries in this region.
“Our aim is to help protect the young people of Bury from the increasing risks they face and to take a common approach to this problem.”
He added: “Our group also seeks to ensure that we take a firm and consistent line in situations where drug-related activities are introduced into our schools and colleges, while ensuring that those involved receive support and guidance. appropriate. “
Yesterday Tim Passmore, the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, attacked the “toxic impact” of county gangs infecting prosperous towns and villages.
It is estimated that 2,000 drug networks make Â£ 500million a year from their vile business.
Mr Passmore said: “County boundaries are a nationwide problem and unfortunately they are having a toxic impact in Suffolk.
âI applaud this proactive and firm position of the principals in the west of our county. It is crucial that parents recognize these signs.
Suffolk County Council said: “County boundaries are a national issue that utilities across the country are proactively working to tackle.
“This November 11 conference is about our broader prevention work to highlight the problem.”
A Suffolk Police spokesperson said: “Local officers have discussed and agreed on strategies with Kieran’s parents on how best to deal with his episodes of disappearance and how best to convince him to return home. “
He said an officer had brought him home “on the basis that they would bring him back to town afterwards” – not knowing he would be returning to the drug den.