Shropshire

Telford police to carry out drug test on arrest

All people arrested for burglary in a Shropshire town will be tested for class A drug use from April.

West Mercia Police said Telford was the first place in their area to introduce Drug Testing On Arrest (DTOA).

The tests will also be carried out on repeat offenders and people arrested for class A drug offences.

Det Insp Pete Brophy said: "We are confident DTOA will allow us to target users of class A drugs and then channel them into treatment."

Police said that following a positive test, a detainee is required to attend two meetings with a drugs worker.

Failure to provide a mouth swab or to attend the meetings will be an offence, a spokesman said.

Det Insp Brophy said: "This initiative is initially being launched in Telford but the aim is for it then to be rolled out right across West Mercia over the next few months."

He said that persistent offenders locally will be receiving a letter warning them about the introduction of DTOA as a "deterrent to them and any other people in Telford who are intent on taking drugs".

All 43 police forces in England and Wales were given powers by the Home Office last year to carry out drug tests after arrests.

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