POLICE have issued a stark warning that cannabis is being sold to high school children on a ‘daily basis’ in the town.

Cheshire Police said weed dealers are targeting pupils outside of school gates before and after school.

The problem has been reported at schools across Warrington.

It is currently a major issue in Sankey and Penketh, according to officers.

Police say schools are doing ‘everything they can’ to help protect children.

DC Nick Talbot, from Warrington CID, said dealers are exploiting youngsters, selling them drugs, getting them into debt, and then making them deal to pay it off.

He said: “Children are getting dragged into this world and they don’t know what the dangers are.

“Dealers are going around schools and targeting children.

“That has been one of our biggest problems.”

The detective constable said children are being forced to sell off belongings to pay drug debts.

“The dealers allow new customers to get into debt and then they are stuck, they have no way out,” he said.

“It is a vicious circle.

“There is an attraction of an exciting lifestyle but the dealers are not their friends, they are there to make money.”

DC Talbot said police are working closely with schools to tackle the drug problem ‘head on’.

Patrols have been increased, and suspects stop-checked.

A 17-year-old male suspected of dealing outside of schools has also been arrested and charged.

DC Talbot added: “We have been doing a lot of work and have been getting some good results.

“And we have been going into schools to warn children of the dangers.

A spokesman for Warrington Borough Council said: “All schools in Warrington are united in their attempt to minimise the risk to children and young people posed by the use of drugs.

“Schools are proactive in their stance to inform young people about the dangers and consequences so that they make healthy life choices.

“The council is currently working with schools and partners on a new Drug Free Schools initiative.

“Advice is available for parents and carers at talktofrank.com or you can contact the Families Information Service on 01925 443400.”

Ben Dunne, principal at Penketh High School, said: “Cheshire Police’s drug team has spoken to all the pupils recently.

“We are engaging with their support.

“We have very vigilant staff and we make sure they look out for pupils, and make sure they are not bringing drugs into school.

“The safety of our children is paramount.”

A spokesman for Great Sankey High School said: “We are aware of this issue and are working closely with the police to protect our children.

“We have had the police into school to give assemblies to all year groups to make sure our students know about the dangers.”

For more information call 443131.