Spice Sniffer Dogs

Sniffer Dogs Trained to Uncover Spice in Scottish Jails

The ever-increasing consumption of so-called legal highs in jails in Scotland has driven prison chiefs to train 30 sniffer dogs to identify the problem drugs.

All prisons in the country now have problems with prisoners taking new psychoactive drugs according to justice chiefs. These drugs have chemicals that result in effects that are similar to cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine.

One inmate’s death has been associated with this mind-altering drug and a nurse was knocked out in another incident by an inmate who ingested the zombie drug Spice.

Previously referred to as legal highs, these new psychoactive drugs in May 2016 in the UK had a blanket ban criminalising their manufacturing, distribution, sale and supply.

The canine detection efforts have “significantly increased” in the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) with 14 canine handlers and 30 canines trained to detect these drugs.

The SPS started a trial with 2 dogs that can identify the new psychoactive drugs and due to the success of that trial, all the other dogs will now be trained.

Spice Drug Test Kits

The prison service use of dogs is another effort implemented to eradicate the new dangerous drugs from prisons. Most prisons already have a simple and quick test in place to detect Spice. These kits were made for professional use and for those who need a test a suspect sample quickly. One test will be able to identify 7 common groups of synthetic cannabinoids.

A Spice drug detection kit for urine can pinpoint of a prisoner recently used the drug.

Our viewpoint

From our point of view, it is encouraging to see the prison services improving their efforts in the detection of these psychoactive drugs that are a major concern in prisons all over Scotland. They present concerns to the well-being of the staff as well as the prisoners.

The unpredictability is one of the major concerns. These mind-altering drugs make people behave in ways that are not normal.

The result of the drug includes very violent behaviour, increase in strength and very bizarre behaviour. Once the drug has left their system, they have no memory of what they did.

Photo Credit: “Sniffer dog and police at Victoria Stati” (CC BY 2.0) by Annie Mole