The Tindle-owned Yellow Advertiser has apologised on its front page after it reported that two schools had been subject to a "drugs raid" by police.
The newspaper – serving Romford, Hornchurch and Upminster – has now revealed that Metropolitan Police officers were in fact visiting the school as part of a regular anti-drugs initiative.
In the 2 May edition the Advertiser reported on the front page that “cops with sniffer dogs raided two Havering schools after morning assembly on Friday, but found no illegal substances”, under “Operation Twister”.
But the current edition, published on 16 May, makes clear that the exercise, supported by headteachers at the schools, was not a raid but part of a planned anti-drugs initiative. Pupils were required to walk past sniffer dogs on leaving morning assembly to make sure they were not carrying drugs.
The apology said: “On May 2 the YA reported on its front page that Chafford School, Rainham, and Brittons School, Rainham, had been raided by drugs police.
“The schools were in fact visited by the Metropolitan Police as part of Operation Twister – an anti-drugs initiative led by the borough’s Safer Schools police officers and supported by the dedicated ward officers.
“Operation Twister is a regular operation run jointly with schools and the police to reassure all staff, students and parents that neither school tolerates substance abuse within the school and that the school will continue to support Havering Police in the combat against drugs.”
It added: “The Yellow Advertiser wishes to apologise to both schools for any misunderstanding that may have arisen as a result of our original article.”
The Advertiser was bought from Trinity Mirror by Tindle Newspapers in 2007. It has 11 editions in East London and Essex and claims to have a distribution of more than 420,000 a week.