Police let-off drugs testing
by Daily Mirror
Copyright: Daily Mirror
Scotland Yard has quietly dropped plans for officers to be randomly drug-tested because of fears that hundreds would be caught. The Metropolitan Police has put the controversial issue on the “back-burner”, according to one senior source.
Britain’s most powerful policeman, Commissioner Sir John Stevens supports testing, but accepts that as much as one-third of the 26,000-strong force could find themselves at risk from detection. Police chiefs have been studying the issue for the last five years. But Scotland Yard confirmed yesterday: “There are no plans to introduce random drug-testing for officers.”
A senior officer said: “We have enough difficulties increasing police numbers without adding to our burden by losing those taking illegal substances. “Drug-taking by officers is not something being hidden under the carpet. Action is taken if there is evidence of drug abuse.
“Sir John accepts that many officers – especially the younger ones – take drugs. In his day, alcohol was the choice of recreational ‘drug’ favoured by those in the police, but society has changed.”
The Yard, and the 43 forces across England and Wales, currently have no powers to make an officer take a drugs test. Legal experts believe compulsory testing is a minefield and that it may never be introduced by police forces.