Suffolk police introduce drugs tests for theft suspects

Theft suspects will be tested for drugs under a new pilot scheme being introduced by Suffolk Police.

The scheme, called Targeted Drug Testing on Arrest, will run for six months at the Martlesham Police Investigation Centre.

Officers will test anyone arrested for offences often linked to class A drug-use, such as theft, burglary or handling stolen goods.

The police said the aim is to help drug users seek treatment or support.

Det Ch Insp Bernie Morgan said: "If we can identify someone in custody as a drug user then procedures can be put in place to break the cycle of drug misuse and offending behaviour.

"By engaging with problematic drug users and moving them into appropriate treatment we will hopefully see a reduction in crime."

'Acquisitive crimes'

Drug testing is already used by 25 other police forces in the UK.

The scheme is funded by the Suffolk Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT).

Louise Jupp, from the team, said: "We believe that many people addicted to heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine commit a high number of acquisitive crimes to fund their addiction.

"We recognise that the point of arrest is often a time when people are more open to accepting that chance to accept specialist treatment."

The police said failure to take a test without good cause is a criminal offence and, if the test is positive, it is a legal requirement to have an assessment.

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