Bernard Hogan-Howe

Bernard Hogan-Howe

Met police chief Bernard Hogan-Howe has called for mandatory drug testing of all workers, it has been revealed.

In a recent speech made to an all-parliamentary group on cannabis and children, the Met police commissioner called for mandatory drug testing to be implemented in workplaces across the country, particularly for those in the teaching or nursing professions.

Under the proposed system, workers would be encouraged to seek help if they tested positive or face losing their jobs.

However, critics have argued that such a scheme would undermine the rights and privacy of UK workers and potentially lead to significant cost burdens for companies if they had to foot the bills for the tests.

But how accurate would such a scheme be?

Drugs such as Cannabis for example, can stay in the system for up to a month and longer in those who smoke less frequently, according to NHS guidelines.

Cannabis may also be detected in the bloodstream if a person has been in the presence of other people who have smoked but have not actually smoked themselves.

However harder drugs such as heroin can often disappear within a couple of days. This has led to questions concerning the reliability of such testing and some have argued that such a system could encourage people to turn to harder drugs, which disappear from the system faster.

Introducing these tests could also run the risk of violating the Human Rights Act and critics have raised questions about the ability of such tests to produce false positives if prescription drugs are taken for example.

One such critic is Professor David Nutt who branded the scheme “bonkers” and told the BBC that their would be no benefit in introducing such a policy.


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