Drug testing on arrest: guidance for police forces

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Guidance for police forces on how to carry out self-funded drug testing on arrest.

All police forces in England and Wales can introduce self-funded drug testing on arrest as an approach to reducing drug-related offending.

Forces are able to manage their own operations across police sites - specific site authorisations through the Home Office are no longer required.

Drug testing is a powerful tool for identifying drug-misusing offenders. A positive drug test for heroin, crack or cocaine use is a valuable gateway to ensure the offender can access treatment and other support to tackle their drug-related offending.

Following a positive test, there are also legal sanctions for those unwilling to address their drug misuse and drug-related offending. In those areas operating drug testing on arrest, around two-thirds of those entering treatment are identified following the initial drug test.


  1. Drug testing police sites
  2. Drug testing on arrest guidance
  3. Introducing locally funded drugs testing on arrest
  4. Drugs Test 2 (DT2) form
  5. Required assessment (RA) forms
  6. Drugs Test 1 (DT1) form
Published 13 April 2012