Millionth test milestone reached under government Drugs Intervention Programme

Tuesday, 19 January, 2010

The Home Office's Drugs Intervention Programme (DIP) recently conducted its one millionth drug test with the support of Concateno, Europe's most experienced drug and alcohol testing company.

The milestone test was carried out in Sheffield, on a suspect arrested on suspicion of fraud. The result was negative.

DIP is a key part of the government's strategy for tackling drugs and reducing crime, helping more than 200,000 habitual drug misusers into treatment and rehabilitation programmes according to Home Office figures - more than 4,500 each month. Since the programme began in 2003, acquisitive crime - to which drug-related crime makes a substantial contribution - has fallen by 32 percent and record numbers of people are being helped with their drug misuse.

Concateno's drug detection system Cozart® DDS® is used in some 174 police custody suites in 21 police forces across England and Wales.

It provides a simple and effective way to identify Class A drug misusing offenders as they go through the criminal justice system. The device tests quickly for heroin and cocaine / crack in the oral fluid of those arrested for trigger offences such as burglary or robbery (which research has shown to be often drug-related). Those who test positive are required to attend an assessment of their drug dependency and related needs to help get them out of crime and into treatment and other support.

"More than 240,000 tests are conducted each year through DIP, and around a third of tests are positive - showing that the right people are being targeted. Many lives have been changed as a result. Highly accurate and non-intimate, the drug test is completed and the results known in minutes," said a Home Office spokesperson. "These can lead to prompt treatment referrals and can also be used to inform court decisions on bail and sentencing - as a screening tool only, however, it cannot be used as evidence against the detainee."

Concateno's criminal justice head, Lianne Main, commented on the milestone: "Our Cozart DDS device enables the detection of heroin or cocaine in an arrestee's saliva in less than three minutes. It is easy and fast for police to use, and produces reliable results - important qualities in the custody suite. At Concateno, we are very proud of this significant achievement for DIP."

• Working with the Home Office, Concateno delivered a series of cascade training sessions for drug testing in 21 DIP 'intensive' police forces during 2009. The course enabled the 235 officers attending to conduct training and manage performance within their forces, ensuring that their detection officers carrying out drug tests maintain a high level of knowledge and skill in the custody suite.

For more information regarding Concateno, please contact:

Carrie Lowe or Matt Trace

Telephone: +44 (0)1962 893 893

Mobile: +44 (0)7554 014 188 / (0)7828 663 988

Email: /

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