Anger after Met posts video showing officers swab Londoners for drugs on night out

3 January 2022, 14:38 | Updated: 4 January 2022, 12:27

The Met has drawn anger after posting a drug swab video
The Met has drawn anger after posting a drug swab video. Picture: Met Police

By Will Taylor

Anger has been raised at the Metropolitan Police after it posted a video of police officers swabbing Londoners for drugs during a night out.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The force said its officers deployed to Shoreditch to carry out the swabs and "ensure the night time economy is a safe place for all".

A clip, posted to its Twitter page, shows police swabbing people's hands and searching a man whose face is blurred out.

No more context has been provided, leading to a deluge of tweets asking what laws allowed them to go around swabbing people, whether they had gained permission first and how they decided to test certain people for drugs.

The 31-second clip was first posted on the afternoon of January 2. It has since garnered 1.1m views.

The tweet accompanying the footage, which is set to dance music, said: "Taskforce Officers were out recently doing drug swabs in Shoreditch as part of a wider operation to ensure the night time economy is a safe place for all."

Read more: Pressure mounts on Met chief over decision not to investigate No10 party claims

Met Police post video showing officers swab Londoners for drugs on night out

Media law trainer, author and journalist David Banks replied: "A lot of people are asking under what legal power you were doing this. Can you explain?"

Others compared the operation to the Met's refusal to investigate alleged Covid rule breaches at Downing Street, having said it has a policy of not looking into historic claims, but would investigate if presented with evidence of law-breaking.

Another Twitter user branded it a "really poor use of police resources" while others compared it to reports of drug traces found in the Houses of Parliament.

LBC has contacted the Met to provide an explanation for the video.

LBC's Matthew Thompson said: "It is also increasingly unclear under exactly what legal power police feel able to do this.

"There doesn't appear to be legal authority for random, enforced drug tests in the street. If indeed that is what is going on here."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

A highway bridge collapsed in northwest China.

At least 12 people dead and more than 30 missing after China bridge collapses due to flooding

Ray Reardon has died

Snooker legend Ray Reardon dies aged 91 after cancer battle

Steve Baker and Tom Tugendhat

Top Tory reveals why he is backing Tom Tugendhat to 'put the party back together' as leader

The National Lottery site and app is down

National Lottery down as users unable to access site and app day after global IT outage

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Travel misery continues as global IT outage 'could take weeks to clear' - with over 5,000 flights cancelled worldwide

Nadiya Bychkova allegedly made a complaint to Strictly bosses

Strictly pro Nadiya Bychkova breaks silence over 'complaint' amid misconduct scandal

An independent review has recommended teachers and nurses get 5.5% pay rises

Teachers and nurses among millions of public sector workers that should get 5.5% pay rise, ministers told

Tom Tugendhat

Two top Tories back Tom Tugendhat to be next Conservative leader

Shockat Adam

Independent MP who dedicated surprise win to Gaza 'hit with death threat'

The Tavistock Centre

'No evidence' curbs on puberty blockers have led to rise in suicide among trans children, report finds

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Boss of company behind global IT outage 'sincerely apologises' for worldwide chaos sparked by software bug

President Joe Biden

Joe Biden insists he will stay in race, as president's family 'discuss exit plan from election campaign'

A burnt out car in the Leeds suburb of Harehills, after vehicles were set on fire and a police car was overturned as residents were warned to stay home following an outbreak of disorder on Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday July 19, 2024.

Council to hold 'urgent review of 'family matter' after rioters wreak havoc in Leeds on night of 'shocking' carnage

Brendan Cole slaps his partner Fiona Hill's bottom three times

Strictly pro dancer slaps female partner's bottom three times in freshly surfaced footage, after two dancers leave show

Trump gunman researched Royal family member during planning for assassination attempt

Donald Trump gunman 'scoped out Kate Middleton and had pictures of her on his phone' before failed murder attempt

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Misery for holidaymakers as 4,000 flights grounded by IT outage that sparked chaos, and recovery 'could cost billions'