Association of Police Controlled Drugs Liaison Officers

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Together ensuring the safer management and use of controlled drugs in the community

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The Role of the Controlled Drugs Liaison Officer (CDLO)

In the majority of Police Force Areas, Controlled Drug Liaison Officers (CDLO’s), only visit pharmacy premises and general medical practices if there has been a particular incident.


Police officers have the authority to enter pharmacy premises under section 23(1) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Civilian CDLO’s are duly authorised by the Secretary of State for Health under section 20 (5) (a) of the Health Act 2006. A person so authorised has the powers in England of entry and inspection conferred by section 20 of that act. Wales fully implemented the Health Act 2006 approx 18months after England, in addition the CDLO's have written authority from the Accountable Officer (AO) to enter any of their health sites or contractor sites for CD related purposes and besides that the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (constable or authorised person) was never repealed.

Under the Health Act 2006, CDLO’s as police officers as well as civilian staff have the power to examine the records and stocks of controlled drugs in retail pharmacies and other health care premises to ensure controlled drugs are being prescribed and then sold or supplied in accordance with the Misuse of Drugs regulations. They also have the powers along with Accountable Officers (AO’s) of PCT to inspect other health care premises such as Doctors Surgeries, Dentists, Vets, Hospitals, Slimming Clinics, Hospice Care Units, Ambulance Stations and any other health care premises to ensure the safe management of such controlled drugs and inspect any records pertaining to their prescribing or supply

The safe custody and storage of controlled drugs is also important to ensure the Misuse of Drugs Safe Custody Regulations 2973 and the Safer Management of Controlled Drugs 2006 are being complied with.

CDLO’s attend any premises to ensure the regulations are being adhered to and take documents or copies of such documents that are required to assist with their enquires or investigations. A targeted inspection can also be under taken to identify or trace individuals who are currently part of an investigation for both law enforcement and health care agencies    

CDLOs Remit

The CDLOs remit is the policing of controlled drugs within the Health Service.

The CDLOs remit only includes offences that involve pharmaceutical controlled drugs and their safer management.  Therefore does not include offences such as bogus doctor, the sales of non-controlled drugs and theft of miscellaneous items from health service premises and fraud.

CDLOs regularly act in partnership with police investigators in enquiries outside their remit.


The CDLOs work within the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, The Health Act 2006 and the supporting regulations  

The Controlled Drugs ( Supervision of Management and Use) Regulations 2006.  

The Misuse of Drugs (Safe Custody) Regulations 1973.  

Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.   

The Medicines Act 1968.

The misappropriation of controlled drugs investigated under the Theft Act 1968.  

The Fraud Act 2006 and the Serious Crime Act 2007

CDLO Checking Drugs Storage CDLO Checking Drug Register

CDLO Checking Drug Register

CDLO Checking CD Cabinet