Three police officers have resigned after failing mandatory drugs tests that were introduced last year.

Cocaine was detected in all three cases and the police officers resigned when they were informed disciplinary proceedings would be initiated against them, the Malta Police Force confirmed to Times of Malta.

A fourth officer was found to be under the influence of alcohol during working hours and disciplinary proceedings are under way.

Since August last year, a new law has made regular drug and alcohol testing mandatory in the force.

It also empowers the prime minister to dismiss any officers found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

When he introduced the law, Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri said it demonstrated the zero-tolerance approach to drug use among members of the disciplinary forces.

In 2020, three soldiers, two prison officials and one police officer tested positive in random drug tests.

Then, early last year, Maurice Curmi, a superintendent stationed in Gozo, was suspended after testing positive for cocaine. He contested the findings and a disciplinary board found there was insufficient evidence in the case.

A positive toxicology test carried out in Mater Dei Hospital was found to be valid for clinical but not medico-legal purposes in his case.

For it to have been deemed valid for legal purposes, it would have needed to have been tested under particular conditions, including a guaranteed chain of custody.

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