By Deirdre Tynan • 05 October 2021 • 17:22
The government will support police to expand the use of drug testing on arrest, as part of a comprehensive strategy to tackle the misery caused by drug misuse and cut crime.
More than £15 million will be invested over the next four years, to enable police to test suspects arrested for a broader range of offences and build an evidence base of the links between drugs and criminality. This will help drive down demand for illegal drugs and prevent further crimes.
A total of £375,000 will be offered to police forces immediately to increase their capacity to drug test on arrest. The government will offer £5,000 to all 43 forces in England and Wales to invest in extra testing equipment and training for police officers and staff this year.
And in addition to this, five forces will receive an additional £32,000 boost this year to increase drugs testing for a wider range of offences which could include domestic abuse and public order offences.
Drugs testing is currently used for a range of “trigger offences” defined in law. These are predominantly acquisitive crimes, such as burglary, robbery, and taking a motor vehicle without authority. Police also routinely test suspects in fraud offences and certain drug-related crimes, including possession and intent to supply.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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