A WEEK after a drug addict former police officer was jailed for buying cocaine, a Police Federation chief has said random drug testing ‘is not done regularly’.
Following the conviction of John ‘Sam’ Griffiths, sentenced to eight months in prison after buying cocaine while on duty, Simon Roberts, chairman of Cheshire Police Federation, said: “There is drug testing and it can be random but it is not done regularly in my experience.
“It takes a lot of time and is an expensive process.
“It’s not something we have done and the chances of being caught in a random drug test are low.”
Chorlton resident Griffiths, aged 30, was found guilty of misconduct in a public office and possessing cocaine at Manchester Crown Court last week.
He was investigated by the Professional Standards Department of Cheshire Police and after the hearing DS John Armstrong said: “Random and intelligence-led drug testing are adopted by the Force and any officer may be subject to spontaneous testing."
However, Mr Roberts said an officer is only likely to be tested if already under suspicion.
He also said he was ‘not surprised’ that some cocaine users are found in the police force.
“The use of recreational drugs is prevalent in society and the scourge of society,” said the association boss.
“It doesn’t surprise me that an officer and probably other officers have taken cocaine.
“But there was utter shock in Warrington when the full facts came out - this behaviour is totally unacceptable.”
Mr Roberts also responded to the claims of Judge Michael Henshell who said public confidence in the police would be ‘eroded’ by the case.
He said: “Any time a police officer is caught doing a criminal offence it does undermine us.
“There are some people in the community who will never like the police, others will understand this is a one off officer.
“I think people will also see the other side, the dedicated, hard working officers who serve for the good of the community.”