Should the police drug test everyone in custody?

Cansford-Labs-defaultThe BBC recently reported that Gwent police are falling short in some areas when it comes to drug testing.

When someone is taken into custody they are frequently tested and then referred for help when it is deemed appropriate, with 600 being the case last year.
The issue, according to the Drug Intervention Programme, is that number is still very low, although it has increased by 15% year on year.

Not surprisingly, here at Cansford we have a view on police drug testing for people who have been arrested. We are known as a laboratory specializing in hair strand drug testing, yet this is more of a lifestyle approach i.e. “has this person taken certain substances on a regular basis over the past 6 months?” When it comes to custody suites we know there is need for another solution – one that is easy to administer onsite.There are simple systems available that don’t require more than 20 minutes training of police officers and are very well priced.
Using oral fluid tests you can get an accurate picture of the substances in a person’s body at the time of arrest, or thereabouts. This is not to say that information should be used as a basis for arrest, but it will indicate a high likelihood that a person has been partaking of substances such as cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines or alcohol.

With Gwent Police looking for solutions, we are keen to see the application of the latest technology to help people make better choices. When people are arrested it has already gone too far and if drugs are involved in the crime/suspected crime then giving people the best chance to face their situation would seem to be the most sensible choice. Incarceration is a costly solution and if a drug habit is not curbed at this point in time, it could easily move in that direction.
If the question is…
What would be the difference if Gwent Police and all others, had a cost effective way of testing everyone that comes through their doors? We believe it could be a a considerable difference to people’s lives.

Posted in In the press...