Northern Ireland

PSNI officers resign after failing drug tests

Cocaine, bank note and razor
Image caption Cocaine and cannabis were detected during the drugs tests

Three police officers have resigned in Northern Ireland after failing drugs tests.

The PSNI said the substances detected were cocaine and cannabis and the three resigned before the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings.

A fourth police officer was required to resign as an alternative to dismissal after also testing positive for drugs.

The sanction was overturned at appeal and the officer received a fine instead.

In a statement, the PSNI said the public "rightly expects" that it "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," the statement added.

"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."

DUP Policing Board member, Jimmy Spratt, said that if police officers were found to have been involved in the misuse of drugs they should expect to be "robustly dealt with".

"I think very clearly if something criminal has happened then whether it is a police officer or not, I would expect that to be reported to the Public Prosecution Service and for them to decide whether it was necessary to proceed with criminal proceedings," he added.

The PSNI said the four police officers had been detected as the result of intelligence.

All of the officers were suspended pending the outcome of formal misconduct proceedings.

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