In a full submission to the Gibraltar Police Authority (GPA) in its annual public Consultation exercise for the next Policing Plan, ’Connected Health’ organisation ‘Stay Clean’, which is campaigning for regulation of drugs in Gibraltar along with Equality Rights Group, has recommended that ‘all serving police officers’ be drugs-tested at least twice a year.
“Stay Clean has made a number of recommendations to the GPA,” Head of ‘Stay Clean’, Damian Broton, stated today.
“For example, Minister Sacramento publicly announced the existence of an official Drugs Free Workplace Policy (DFWP) in a recent GBC programme. So, why has this not already been implemented? What’s the delay? Government has an important role to play in leading the field on policies of this sort, which ought to be adopted by both public and private sector employers. It helps both employers and individuals suffering substance abuse problems to know there’s a way out.
“We also want to see law enforcement agencies introducing Arrest Referral Officers, that is police personnel working at custody level but with specific training in handling individuals with drug problems in order to better channel them towards rehabilitation and recovery rather than to a vicious circle within the criminal justice system.
“In all of this, police have a leading role to play. Drugs is a problem in all organisations. With a DFWP in place, in addition to periodic testing of all police officers, our law enforcement personnel are in a stronger moral and organizational position to enforce drugs testing on the community. Leadership of this sort can only serve to strengthen police on the ground and on the streets.
“We will continue to advocate positive measures of control and regulation throughout society as we argue in favour of policies and approaches based on evidence and proven science rather than scaremongering. While campaigning for a regulatory system based on effective compassion and evidence, we nonetheless and very clearly similarly recommend health rather than consumption and dependence on drugs, whether licit or illicit,” the statement ended.