This policy is intended to inform all officers of the NSW Police expectations in relation to their use of alcohol and other drugs.

At the outset, it is acknowledged that all officers have a right to exercise private judgement in matters relating to their personal lives. However, control over the misuse of alcohol and other drugs is considered essential to the effectiveness of the NSW Police and to the safety of its members and the community. The policy complements the provisions of the NSW Police Code of Conduct and Ethics and should be read in conjunction with the broader issues discussed in that document.

There can be no doubt that the NSW Police has a clear duty of care to its employees to maintain a safe place of work and to provide to the community a comprehensive policing service which is free of alcohol and other drug abuse. In recognition of this, for some years, the Service has provided professional and confidential counselling services for officers experiencing substance abuse problems. It has also conducted extensive education programs that have been designed to facilitate the early provision of help to affected staff members and their families. Therefore, this Policy is regarded as a natural evolution of the extensive groundwork that has been laid in previous years.

The policy comments on the implications of random, target and mandatory testing of sworn police officers. However, just as importantly, it provides information on the support services that are available for those officers and their families who experience problems as a result of alcohol and other drug abuse.