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Drug Tests (273A/21)


1) Please tell me, with reference to the 2019/20 financial year, the number of
a) Substance misuse tests undertaken at random by your force’s officers;
b) Substance misuse tests administered with cause by your force’s officers;
c) Substance misuse tests given on a pre-employment basis;
d) The number of positive tests to number of tests undertaken in total;

2) Please break down 1d (the number of positive tests) by
a) The drug detected (e.g. cannabis, cocaine)
b) The disciplinary measures resulting (e.g. final warning, dismissed, job offer withdrawn)
c) Whether the substance misuse test was given at random, with cause or on a pre-employment basis


Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. This is because we do not have a marker or recording category on our systems to enable us to identify whether any substance misuse tests have been administered with cause and the subsequent disciplinary measures resulting. Therefore, we would have to manually review all allegations/misconduct cases recorded on our Professional Standards system in the 2019/20 financial year to ascertain this information.

This means that the cost of providing you with the information is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information exceeds the ‘appropriate level’ as stated in the Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice for this part of the request and if one part of a request exceeds the fees limit then S12 of the Act applies to the whole request.

However, in accordance with Section 16 of the Act I have a duty to provide advice and assistance in relation to your request and can provide information for questions 1a), 1d) and 2a) and 2b) as this was retrieved during our initial research. Please find this information below.

1a) The force has not undertaken any random drugs tests during this period.

1d) Between 01/04/19 & 31/03/21 – 993 drugs test were undertaken, 30 of which were positive. All relate to pre-employment recruitment drug testing.

2a) Drugs Detected:

18 Opiates

6 Cocaine

2 Methamphetamines

1 Cannabis

1 Cocaine and Opiates

1 Cocaine and Methamphetamines

1 Cannabis and Cocaine

2b) Anyone failing a pre-employment drugs test has their offer withdrawn, so all would have been removed from the process.

This should not be taken as a precedent that additional information would be supplied outside of the time/fees legislation for any subsequent requests.

Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here:


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