Bloomberg News

U.K. to Study Whether Workers Should Face Mandatory Drugs Tests

January 30, 2013

Police Minister Damian Green said the government would examine a proposal by Britain’s top policeman to force workers to undergo mandatory drugs tests.

The Daily Mail newspaper reported comments that Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe made yesterday to lawmakers on the all-party parliamentary group on cannabis and children. He said testing and the fear of losing their jobs would act as deterrents for drug users.

“It seems to me we have got to plant in people’s minds something to affect the demand as well as supply,” Hogan-Howe said, the newspaper reported. “You can think of many occupations where if you were working with a colleague, you would want to be sure in fact that they were drug-free.”

Asked to respond to the proposal today on behalf of the government, Green told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” radio program, “It’s an interesting idea and we will go away and think about it.”

An estimated one in three adults has taken an illegal drug in their lifetime, according to the latest figures from the Home Office released in September. About 12 million people have tried an illicit drug, the 2011/12 Crime Survey for England and Wales found.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kitty Donaldson in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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