Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
1. Please send a copy of your policy for drug testing of police officers and staff, or a link to it.
2. How many police officers and staff (including PCSOs and Specials) have been subjected to random drug testing in each of the last five calendar years, plus the year to date (the last five and a half years)?
3. Please give their role or the type of unit they worked in (eg response officer, firearms, patrol, call handler, police staff, PCSO etc).
4. Does the test include screening for anabolic steroids?
5. For those who gave a sample (again in each of the last five and a half years) please confirm what type of drug/drugs were found and what happened as a result (eg warning, retraining dismissal, tribunal hearing, resignation, name on barred list, criminal charge or conviction etc).
6. In each of the last five and a half calendar years how many refused to give a sample and what happened as a result of the refusal (eg warning, retraining, dismissal, tribunal hearing, resignation, name on barred list etc)?
7. How many police officers and staff (including PCSOs and Specials) have been subjected to drug testing "with cause" in each of the last five years, plus the year to date?
8. Please give their role or the type of unit they worked in (eg response officer, firearms, patrol, community, PCSO etc).
9. Does this test include screening for anabolic steroids?
10. If the tests are individually tailored as a result of the intelligence/information which gave the force cause to request a test, please specify in each case what was tested for.
11. Please give the reason why the test was requested, (eg violent incident, complaint, intelligence etc)
12. Of those who gave a sample please tell me what type of drug/drugs was found and what happened as a result (warning, retraining dismissal, tribunal, resignation, name on barred list etc).
13. In each of the last five calendar years, plus this year to date, how many refused to give a sample and what happened as a result of the refusal (eg dismissal, tribunal hearing, resignation, name on barred list etc)?
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Professional Standards Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.
I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.
1. We do not have a policy. We do have a Procedure, so, in order to assist we have provided this to you as attached. This document covers drug testing as well as the support available to officers/staff.
2. 120 random tests have been conducted over the requested period of time.
3. Response, firearms, Neighbourhood Policing Teams , PCSO’s, CID, Secondary Investigation Unit, Communications, Crime and Soco.
5. There has been no positive results from random tests.
6. Out of the 120 tests there have been no refusals.
7. 9 Police officers and staff have been subjected to with cause tests in the period requested.
8. This level of detail will not be provided as, due to low numbers, we have considered the below exemption to be applicable to withhold.
Section 40 (2) - Personal Information
Section 40 (2) is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement to consider the public interest in disclosure. That being said where Section 40(2) is engaged in order to make the exemption absolute there needs to be evidence that a data protection principle would be breached by disclosure. In this case it would not be fair to process information which, we believe by providing all the information you have requested, could lead to the identification of an individual. Therefore the first principle of the Data Protection Act would be breached.
10. Following regulations 10 and 19 of The Police Regulations 2003, we test the standard following Amphetamines (including ecstasy), cannabis, cocaine, opiates (morphine, heroin, Codeine and Benzodiazepines. There is the option to conduct anabolic steroid testing if required.
11. Intelligence submissions.
12. There have been no positive results.
13. 1 staff member refused to provide a sample they were dismissed and named on the barred list.
FOI 896-23 - Substance Misuse Doc P
FOI 896-23 - Substance Misuse Doc P.pdf