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 tell me, with reference to the 2020/21 financial year, the number of
a. Substance misuse tests undertaken at random by your force's officers;
b. Substance misuse tests administered with cause by your force's officers;
c. Substance misuse tests given on a pre-employment basis;
d. The number of positive tests to number of tests undertaken in total;
2. Please break down 1d (the number of positive tests) by
a. The drug detected (e.g. cannabis, cocaine)
b. The disciplinary measures resulting (e.g. final warning, dismissed, job offer withdrawn)
c. Whether the substance misuse test was given at random, with cause or on a pre-employment basis
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Professional Standards and People Systems Departments 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. a. 14 (random tests)
b. 3 (with cause tests)
c. 430 (pre-employment substance misuse tests)
d. Out of 447 tests taken, 1 was positive.
2. a. Drug detected was cocaine.
b. Job offer was withdrawn.
c. This was a pre-employment substance misuse test.
Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.
The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.
If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.