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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 February 2007, 08:42 GMT
Soldiers sacked over drug taking
Ten soldiers from a Scots regiment are to be dismissed from the Army after failing drug tests.

The members of the Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland tested positive during a random test this month.

Army bosses have not disclosed the nature of the drugs identified, or the ranks of those who failed.

A total of 441 soldiers took part in the 5 February test at the Borderers' Dreghorn Barracks in Edinburgh.

The Army has a zero-tolerance policy towards drug-taking, with the majority of soldiers found to be taking them instantly dismissed.

The Army recruits largely from urban areas so it inherits the problems these areas have themselves
Gordon MacKenzie
Defence analyst

An army spokesman said: "Ten people from the 1st Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland failed compulsory drugs tests.

"They are all being discharged and have either gone or will be gone by early next week."

Defence analyst Gordon MacKenzie, who was formerly an officer with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, said: "Drug-taking in the services is a problem up to a point.

"The Army recruits largely from urban areas across Britian so it inherits the problems these areas have themselves.

"The Army's zero tolerance policy is an attempt to make sure it doesn't interfere with operations or the behaviour of army personnel."

He said there was "a fraction of leeway" for those caught with drugs in their system.

'Way out'

"That leeway depends on the discretion of the officers involved," he said.

"But a positive test nearly always means you're on your way out."

There are more than 700 soldiers in the 1st Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

The drug tests happened a week before video footage of soldiers from the Borderers was published apparently showing them snorting a white powder.

After investigating the footage last week, army bosses said it now appeared the incident had been a practical joke.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
A spokesman outlines events leading to the sackings



SEE ALSO
Army asks to see drugs video clip
18 Feb 07 |  Highlands and Islands
'Drug video' troops come forward
14 Feb 07 |  South of Scotland
Army investigates 'drug' footage
12 Feb 07 |  Scotland

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