January 31st, 2011

Damned druggies

Posted in The Job - General by 200

A couple of years ago the powers that be introduced random drugs testing within the police service. At any time a crack squad from HQ can descend anywhere in the force & randomly test officers for drugs. We’ve even had situations where we can’t send officers to jobs because the whole shift has been taken in for a test.

As far as I’m aware, nobody I’ve ever worked with has tested positive.

News today at there have been 27 positive tests out of 13,000. Cannabis & cocaine have apparently detected, though, according to some of the forums, some officers have been tested positive for drugs for which they have a prescription. Tests are usually random but can but can be targeted at individuals as a  result of information laid against them, anonymous or otherwise.

In Britain’s largest force, the Met, they carried out 20 tests on a targeted basis & 11 officers failed the test, presumably that means that just under 50% of the targeted information was wrong?

I’m not sure what this says about the average police officer, other than a miniscule proportion have been found to have traces of  illegal drugs in their system. Ideally, of course, you’d expect 100% to be ‘drug-free’, but given that the police are a force drawn from the public can we ever be truly free of officers who take drugs, steal, abuse power, etc, etc?

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  1. jaded says:

    Interesting story, has the Daily Mail got huge headlines about the police being a “drug culture”?
    I got pulled in for a breath-test last week. DPS turned up and ten of us were contacted on the radio and told to immediately return to the station. I felt guilty as they didn’t tell us why were we coming back until we arrived. Couldn’t think what I had done wrong! I was served a notice saying it was a disciplinary offence to refuse. Funnily enough I must be the only teetotal officer in my force. I asked the very nice DS how many PC’s she had ever caught over the limit on duty and she said- none! But that wouldn’t make a headline would it?

    February 1st, 2011 at 07:58

  2. Justablackrat says:

    Wouldn’t it be hilarious to call random drug tests on journalists, editors and news presenters? They are, sfter all, self-appointed Judge and Jury to every action, or perceived inaction, of the police. Testing positive would naturally result in dismissal.

    I would definitely take the Pepsi-Challenge (or should that be Coke-Challenge :) ) that our friends in Fleet Street would be all but wiped out.

    February 1st, 2011 at 08:45

  3. Barry says:

    Could the reason that only 11 got positive results out of the group of 20 targeted be that they had to include some they didn’t believe to be on drugs to make it seem that they weren’t just picking on certain individuals.

    Also could some of the positive results be from officers who were undercover and had to partake some what to keep up there cover?

    February 1st, 2011 at 10:10

  4. Paul United Kingdom says:

    Now I recall that many years ago while working at a life insurance we were sent the price list for various tests from a pathology lab service. Amongst the prices were the prices for drugs tests they were about £130 a test! Let’s say it costs £200 a test now (Probably way too low) that works out at £2600000 (£2.6 million)

    February 1st, 2011 at 18:51

  5. shijuro says:

    I have been tested…

    Love it…

    February 1st, 2011 at 19:47

  6. Colin says:

    The 9 targeted tests that came up clear might just have struck lucky. Cannabis is detectable for a couple of weeks, but cocaine is only detectable for a couple of days. *If* the officers were tested on, say, a Thursday then the weekend coke users could come up clear.

    February 2nd, 2011 at 10:46

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