Police introduce new drug tests for those arrested

By Connie Osborne Wednesday 31 October 2012 Updated: 02/11 08:29

DRUG tests could be given to people arrested in Redditch as part of a new scheme to tackle drug related crimes.

As of Thursday (November 1) any person over the age of 18, who is arrested and detained for crimes including burglary, drug supply and possession or theft and fraud, will have their mouths swabbed to test for Class A drugs.

The scheme, known as Drug Testing On Arrest (DTOA) was initially introduced in Telford and is now being rolled out across West Mercia in the hope of steering people away from drugs.

If a positive test result is given, the detainee is then required to attend two meetings with a drugs worker. Failing to provide a swab or failure to attend any of the meetings could also result in three months in prison and or a fine.

And even if people are cleared of the charge they were originally arrested for, if they show a positive drug result, they will still need to attend the meetings.

But temporary Det Chf Insp Andy Hughes said the overall aim of the scheme was to get an individual into treatment rather than take action for failure to provide a drugs test or attend the meetings.

"We are confident the introduction of DTOA will allow us to target users of Class A drugs and then channel them into treatment.

"We also believe the initiative will offer us greater intelligence about drug users, drug supply and demand, and will also allow us to target our efforts more accurately and with a much higher degree of knowledge."

He added over the next few days, the force would be talking to persistent offenders to discuss the introduction of DTOA and that he hoped it would act as a deterrent to them and others.

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