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Substance Misuse (4826_14)


In April 2012 Home Office circular 011/2012 introduced new guidelines for “Testing police officers for substance misuse”.

ACPO’s subsequent December 2012 Guidelines on Substance Misuse and Testing section 11.3.1 requires UK police forces to maintain records on the following information on drug and alcohol tests:

*The number of tests conducted and results;

*The type of test conducted;

*The reason for the test;

*The job title of the participants;

*The gender of the participants

Please provide me with the information you hold based on drug and alcohol tests on officers carried out since the introduction of the new Home Office guidelines in April 2012.

Please also tell me what action was taken against any officers who failed a drug or alcohol test, i.e. were they suspended, sacked, disciplined, given written or verbal warnings?


During the period 01 April 2012 to 31 March 2014, a total of 76 tests were conducted on officers (73 alcohol and 3 drug).

The following table provides details of those tests above where the result was neither ‘negative’ nor ‘passed’

Test Type Reason Rank Test result Outcome
Alcohol Screening PC Fail Retired
Alcohol Screening PC Fail Management Action
Drug With Cause PC Positive Dismissed

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.


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