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16 October, 2019 - 12:19 By Kate Sweeney

Fingerprint drug testing boosts family safeguarding

Fingerprint-based drug testing from a Cambridge company is being used by Peterborough City Council as part of its family safeguarding social care initiative.

Following a successful trial of the Intelligent Fingerprinting portable drug testing system, which detects drug use through fingerprint sweat analysis, the council has now fully adopted the system within its safeguarding programme. 

The objective is to encourage service users to abstain from drug use and to adhere to family court custody conditions or social care child protection arrangements.

The Peterborough Family Safeguarding teams work with service users who have a history of drug abuse that may impair their ability to look after children in their care. 

Regular drug testing using the Intelligent Fingerprinting system is carried out by Peterborough City Council partner Change Grow Live and both staff and service users have commented on how much more dignified the test is compared to more traditional approaches – largely thanks to its hygienic nature and how easy it is to use. 

All service users need to do is provide fingerprint sweat samples onto the Intelligent Fingerprinting drug screening cartridge. 

The cartridge is analysed immediately using a portable reader, providing results in 10 minutes for discussion there and then during their meeting. 

Previously, clients were required to visit a special clinic for drug testing – introducing delays and discouraging some users from engaging with the Family Safeguarding teams.

Intelligent Fingerprinting’s Dr Paul Yates, who has worked with both Peterborough City Council and Change Grow Live on the project said: “In addition to the benefits of fingerprint-based drug testing such as its non-intrusive nature, ability to deliver rapid results and its portability, it’s clear that Peterborough City Council has also been able to secure significant productivity improvements. 

“The fact they can now work faster and more collaboratively with other agencies leads directly to a more informed family safeguarding process and better outcomes for both the council and its service users.”

• Police and the Department of Traffic for the Brasilia Federal District in Brazil have completed a trial of Intelligent Fingerprinting’s fingerprint drug test system on the capital’s streets. 

Rodrigo Silveira of Intelligent Fingerprinting partner Orbitae said: “The fingerprint drug tests – using the portable Intelligent Fingerprinting cartridges and reader – took place in the streets of Brazil’s capital, Brasilia. 

“We have further trials planned with the Brazilian police in a number of other major cities including Recife, Belem and Sao Paulo.”

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