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Drug tests to be used in greater number of arrests, Home Office reveals

The police will be given greater powers to drug test suspects on arrest, it has been announced.

The move, put forward by the Home Office, forms part of a “comprehensive strategy” to “tackle the misery caused by drug misuse and cut crime”.

According to the report, some £15 million will be invested in front line services over the next four years to ensure police have the capacity and resources available to test suspects arrested for a “broader range” of offences.

This may include domestic abuse and public order offences.

Drug testing is currently used by police forces in “trigger offences”, such as burglary, robbery, and taking a motor vehicle without authority, as well as in fraud offences and certain drug-related crimes, such as possession and intent to supply.

The report suggests that the expanded scheme will help police identify a greater number of opiate and cocaine users and crack down on recreational drug use, “ensuring that those who break the law face consequences”.

The data will also be used to build an evidence base of the links between drugs and criminality and help criminals access treatment and drug awareness courses, the report adds.

Commenting on the plans, the Home Office said: “The government is committed to tackling drug misuse across society and taking an end-to-end approach – going after the criminals and gangs who exploit the vulnerable, while helping those with addiction into treatment and recovery.”

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