What hap­pens as Army goes soft on drugs

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By Mark Ni­col DE­FENCE EDITOR

DRESSED in com­bat uni­form, a Bri­tish sol­dier ca­su­ally leans over a desk in his bar­racks to snort a line of cocaine while his com­rades glee­fully film him on their mo­bile phones.

The shock­ing footage, shared among troops on so­cial me­dia, then shows the squad­die rub­bing the il­le­gal white pow­der around his gums.

The video was recorded ear­lier this year af­ter the Army dropped its ‘zero tol­er­ance’ ap­proach to­wards drug tak­ing.

As The Mail on Sun­day has pre­vi­ously re­vealed, the Min­istry of De­fence has been forced to of­fer sec­ond and even third chances to troops who fail com­pul­sory drug tests (CDTs), be­cause of a man­power cri­sis.

As re­cently as 2015, only 5 per cent of troops were al­lowed to stay in the Army af­ter fail­ing a CDT. Now it is 43 per cent.

The dis­turb­ing video sug­gests that the Army’s more re­laxed ap­proach has con­vinced troops they can ig­nore UK laws on tak­ing Class A drugs. Other pic­tures also shared on so­cial me­dia and seen by The Mail on Sun­day show quan­ti­ties of cocaine, other hard drugs such as ke­tamine, and sol­diers’ of­fi­cial Bri­tish Army iden­tity cards.

The images were shared on a pri­vate Face­book group called The Sesh.

Last night, an MoD spokesman said: ‘Drug abuse is in­com­pat­i­ble with mil­i­tary ser­vice and per­son­nel are sub­ject to ran­dom com­pul­sory drug test­ing. Ex­cept in ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances, sol­diers caught tak­ing drugs can ex­pect to be dis­charged.’

SHOCK­ING: Mo­bile phone footage of a squad­die snort­ing cocaine

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