Drug testing on arrest extended to Hereford

An initiative in which people arrested for burglary are tested for Class A drugs is being rolled out across the West Mercia Police force area.

The force introduced Drug Testing on Arrival (DTOA) at Telford in April.

Tests are also carried out on repeat offenders and those suspected of Class A drug offences under the scheme, which aims to get users into treatment.

DTOA has now been introduced at Hereford and the rest of the force will follow over the next few months.

Mouth swab

All 43 police forces in England and Wales were given powers by the Home Office last year to carry out drug tests after arrests.

Acting Det Ch Insp Andy Hughes said: "Following a positive test for Class A drugs such as cocaine or heroin, a detainee is then required to attend two meetings - known as required assessments - with a drugs worker.

"Wherever possible, the initial assessment should take place during the period of detention.

"Failure to provide a mouth swab and failure to attend the required assessments will be an offence."

The force also hopes the scheme will help it gain greater intelligence about drug users as well as supply and demand.

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