Police officers resign after failed drug tests
Published 02/02/2011 | 09:48
Three police officers in the North have resigned after they failed drug tests.
Another was disciplined after cocaine and cannabis were detected, the police service confirmed.
A spokeswoman confirmed: "There have been a total of four police officers detected as the result of intelligence-led 'with cause' drugs tests."
Three officers resigned prior to disciplinary proceedings concluding and one who appeared before a misconduct hearing was required to resign as an alternative to dismissal. The ex-officer appealed to the Police Appeals Tribunal and the sanction was overturned, with the officer receiving a monetary penalty.
Democratic Unionist Assembly member Jimmy Spratt said: "Anyone in the police service who is taking or dealing in illegal drugs should be robustly dealt with.
"There is no place for that within the police service and we expect a higher standard from our officers."
He added it was a problem with a minority.
The police spokeswoman added: "The public rightly expects that the Police Service of Northern Ireland is a drug-free organisation.
"The police service has introduced measures to prevent substance misuse by police personnel through the provision of education and support programmes and the introduction of a compulsory drug-testing regime.
"Whilst we are confident that the vast majority of our officers are not involved in any kind of substance misuse, we have a responsibility to ensure we deal robustly with any officer who supplies or uses illegal drugs."
Police carry out random and planned drugs testing of officers and staff and "with cause" alcohol breath testing for those involved in what have been defined as safety critical roles.
Testing is also undertaken at pre-recruitment, during the student officer stage and throughout the probationary period. Random testing is undertaken on an ongoing basis.