Police begin prisoner drug tests

By Lunar Loops · Jun 12, 2007 · ·
  1. Lunar Loops
    This from BBC News (Scotland) website:

    Police begin prisoner drug tests

    Mandatory drug testing of prisoners in Edinburgh is to start under new powers given to police.

    Testing prisoners who are in the custody suite of St Leonard's Police Station will start on Tuesday.
    The new powers, introduced by the Scottish Executive, involve the police testing prisoners for heroin and cocaine from saliva. Mandatory drug testing on arrest comes under the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006.

    The police and courts will use the results of the tests to inform bail and sentencing decisions but primarily seeks to refer drug addicts into treatment programmes to break the cycle of offending.
    Similar schemes introduced by the Home Office in England and Wales have delivered significant reductions in offending rates and policing and public health costs.
    Ch Supt George Simpson, divisional commander for Edinburgh, said "This scheme will result in us testing around 6,000 prisoners each year for the presence of heroin and cocaine.
    "These results will help the police, courts and other social agencies in dealing more effectively with those drug users who fund their habit through criminal lifestyles."
    'Complex issue'
    Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, said: "We need to look at innovative ways of breaking the cycle between drug addiction and crime and this pilot will help police begin to achieve this.
    "Drugs are one of the great social problems of our age. This programme aims to help problem users get off drugs, into treatment and away from crime, but we know there are no quick fixes to this complex issue.
    "Around three-quarters of those sentenced by the courts to a custodial sentence show signs of drug misuse and drug-related offending.
    "We need to improve access to effective interventions for those suffering from addiction while at the same time being tough on drug dealers." The Lothian and Borders initiative is one of only three pilot schemes in Scotland including Glasgow and Aberdeen.

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  1. Lunar Loops
    Police pilot portable drugs kits

    Also this from BBC News website (Scotland):

    Police pilot portable drugs kits

    Officers from three Scottish police stations will be able to check suspects for the effects of drugs using portable drug-testing kits.
    The pilot project, which is beginning at stations in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, will involve saliva being taken from those in custody.
    Police, the courts and social workers will be able to use the results when making bail and sentencing decisions.
    Those who refuse to co-operate with the tests could face a criminal charge.
    Suspects arrested and taken to St Leonard's Police Station in Edinburgh, London Road in Glasgow and Queen Street in Aberdeen will be included in the pilot scheme.
    Those likely to be tested include anyone who commits a crime that police suspect was carried out under the influence of drugs.
    The mandatory tests have been introduced by the Scottish Executive who said its aim was to help problem users get off drugs, into treatment and away from crime. Similar initiatives carried out in England and Wales have seen a significant reduction in offending rates.
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