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Anti-drugs campaign backfires

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Scottish police have been forced to rethink an anti-drugs campaign after discovering they were sending kids to a porn Web site.

Tayside Police had handed out thousands of leaflets to children in primary and secondary schools in the area, recommending they log onto the site to learn about the dangers of drugs.

The campaign went on for a year, targeting every school in Tayside. However, the private company that owned the site ceased trading, and the domain name was bought by a Russian porn peddler and converted into a sex site.

Inspector Gordon Nicoll, force media officer at Tayside Police, said officers became aware of the change in the content within hours of the graphic images going up on the site.

They promptly broke any links to the Drugsaware site and destroyed "a substantial number of leaflets", Nicoll said today.

"Young people use the Internet - it's a good way for them to get information," he said. "It's not actually that uncommon for URLs to expire and get snapped up by porn sites."

Nicoll added that he had no idea if any children had visited the site. ®

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