Breakthrough Test to Hit Drug-Related Sex Crimes

Article excerpt

Byline: GEMMA MURRAY

A BREAKTHROUGH drugs test to detect spiked drinks is to be piloted by police CARE officers in the greater Belfast area in a bid to counter drug-related sexual crime.

More than 40 different drugs are currently being used to spike drinks, but Det Chief Insp William McAuley, from the Care Unit, has warned party- goers they also need to be on their guard against being plied with excess alcohol.

Ten care officers have been trained to use the kits, which can be dipped into drinks at the scene of a reported incident and will confirm results within minutes.

Police are calling on the public to report any suspect drinks immediately so that valuable evidence is not lost.

The test has been developed by Surescreen Diagnostics Ltd and is divided into two parts - one testing for the "benzo" family of drugs and the other for a number of other drug families.

Det Chief Insp McAuley said that, although the test is not evidential and would not be used in court, it is a indicator that drugs are present. …