Published letter: Will Essex police be drug tested?

Source: Braintree & Witham Times

Pub Date: 23 September1999

Published letter: Will Essex police be drug tested?

Author: Don Barnard


ESSEX Police have recently revealed stress and early retirements are costing the force 2.5 million. But this 'revelation' is nothing new.

At the introduction of the government's partnership with leading British companies to tackle drug misuse in the workplace (September 1998) delegates were informed: 'Police forces were to introduce trial drug testing as part of a radical health programme aimed at reducing the number of early retirements on health grounds and cutting the chronic levels of sickness in their ranks.'

This suggests they feel drug use is at least partly to blame and the solution to this problem is to introduce widespread random drug testing into police forces.

Jack straw, Home Secretary, has said this "ridiculous" problem is costing police forces up to 250 million a year and threatened forces with punitive budget restrictions unless they reduce the burden.

Coincidentally at the same venue, Ex-Chief Constable Hellawell (UK drug Coordinator) also called for more drug testing of drivers and workers.

More recently the Association of Chief Constables has called for government legislation to allow them to do random drug testing of all police officers and support staff.

Should / will Essex police, local authorities and employers be adopting this police?

Don Barnard,

Aetheric Road