Hi-tech toilet aids drugs fight
By BBC News – October 15th 2002
Copyright: BBC News
A state-of-the art toilet is the latest weapon for South Wales Police officers flushing out drug pushers.
The Drugs Retrieval Toilet has been installed in Pontypridd police station.
It is the first of its kind to be used in Wales.
The lavatory, has been plumbed in to help police recover drugs, which have been concealed internally by suspected pushers.
Many people involved in the supply of illegal drugs, will swallow or conceal small packages, as a way of conveying drugs while escaping detection.
But the design of the latrine means that police officers can retrieve the drugs – hidden inside the body of the pusher – in a safe, hygienic and highly effective way.
Chief Superintendent Peter Vaughan from the Rhondda Cynon Taff division of South Wales Police said the new device would help the drug problem in the Valleys.
“As well as being highly dangerous to the carrier this tactic has frustrated our ability to retrieve evidence.
“This is one more way that that we are seeking to tackle the drugs problem within the South Wales Valleys.
“The only way to deal effectively with the drugs menace in Rhondda Cynon Taff is by working with our communities and our partners, both locally and further field.
“In the long term, success can only be achieved through regenerating communities, education, diversion and enforcement.
“If this facility assists us with enforcement then it’s a sound investment,” he added.
The funding for the initiative has come from the Welsh Assembly’s Communities Against Drugs.
The Rhondda Cynon Taff Substance Misuse Partnership have been heavily involved in the project.
Tony Key, community safety officer for Rhondda Cynon Taff council, said: “I believe that modern initiatives of this fashion are extremely important for detection of drug offences.”
Even though the toilet has been plumbed in at Pontypridd, it is being made available to the police and other enforcement agencies in the area.