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Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000

Section 57: Testing persons in police detention

130.Section 57 sets out the procedure for taking urine and non-intimate samples (e.g. oral saliva swabs) for the purposes of testing those charged with certain acquisitive and drugs offences for the presence of specified Class A drugs. The procedures are set out through insertions of new Sections in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. Only those aged over 18 can be tested under these provisions.

131.The procedure for testing states that:

  • A test may be taken if a person has been charged with a “trigger offence”; or

  • A person has been charged with an offence and a police officer of at least the rank of Inspector has reasonable grounds to suspect a link between the offence and the misuse of a specified Class A drug, and authorises the taking of the sample.

132.As well as setting out the procedure for testing, the Section provides for requesting a sample for testing, and creates a new offence, with a penalty of up to three months in prison or a fine (not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale – currently £2,500), or both for failing without good cause to give a sample.

133.The Secretary of State may authorise people other than police officers to take samples, but only by affirmative resolution order.

134.The Section also provides powers for a custody officer to detain someone for up to six hours, following charge, for the purposes of testing.

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