TICTAC Visual ID System for Law enforcement



TICTAC has three main application areas for law enforcement.

  • Instant Visual Drug Identification
  • Drug Information
  • Insight into new and emerging psychoactive substances (“legal highs”).

Who uses TICTAC for law enforcement? A large number of police forces, forensic labs, prisons and customs agencies use TICTAC.


Why do so many law enforcement organisations use TICTAC? Because year after year, TICTAC saves these organisations considerable amounts of money and time. These savings are primarily achieved in forensic submissions and custody suites through the instant identification of drugs and knowing immediately whether or not they are controlled substances. But there are many other applications which provide savings. Click on any of the areas below to see specific examples of where and how TICTAC is used:

POLICE – Please click on any item below for more information:

Forensic submissions/Scientific support/Property stores –

Instantly find out if a tablet or capsule is a controlled substance. Those identified as non-controlled do not need to be sent to the lab, avoiding costly lab fees, delays and paperwork.

Force Intelligence Bureaux -

An instant visual reference resource that can also be used to provide remote drug identifications to officers phoning into control rooms. TICTAC’s information database provides a valuable resource for intelligence gathering

Control rooms -

Support to officers who come into contact with drugs or substances resembling drugs..

Custody suites / FMEs -

Both in relation to prisoners in possession of potentially controlled substances and also for identifying prescribed medicines and their use. For example, being able to identify an antipsychotic medicine in the possession of a prisoner and referencing how and why it is used. TICTAC’s cross reactivity data is very helpful for custody drug testing.

Compliance with PACE 2 requires knowledge of how a medicine in the possession of a prisoner is regulated by the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

Community liaison -

Besides providing officers with a valuable identification resource, TICTAC is also an invaluable reference source for street drug slang, drug monographs, and a full glossary of names and terms as well as local street prices. It enables quick identification of suspicious items found in public places, e.g. schools, clubs, pubs. Images and information can also be cut and pasted from TICTAC into presentations.

Education/Expert witness programs -

TICTAC is used frequently by officers who need to remain up to date with drug trends, changes in legislation and new drugs and paraphernalia coming onto the market. TICTAC’s audio clips with pronunciation of drug and chemical names ensure expert witnesses know the correct pronunciation for court appearances.

Drug squads/Serious crime -

As per all of the above and access to over 1000 drug slang terms.

Scene of Crime Officers -

TICTAC will run on lap top computers and mobile devices. It has proved invaluable to SOCOs/CSIs, both in the field and the office.

Traffic -

TICTAC is used by forces as an aid to vehicle searches.


An invaluable guide allowing officers to instantly establish what a drug is, if it is controlled, what class it is, who manufactures it and confirm if it is licensed for use in the UK.

PRISONS – Please click on any item below for more information:

Reception -

checking that medication is legitimate when searching prisoners’ property prior to releasing it in to the prisoner’s personal possession. Items resembling medication or tablets, e.g. vitamin supplements, can be immediately identified and released or confiscated. Instantly find out what medications found on remand prisoners are used to treat/why they are taken and if they show up as positive on drug tests.

Security -

Tablets, capsules or patches can be identified without being sent off for analysis in the first instance, saving both time and money. Any item identified as controlled can subsequently be sent off for confirmation. Those shown not to be controlled do not need to be sent for analysis which saves lab fees. Security staff can remain up to date with street names of controlled/illegal drugs and information on the latest trends/news.

Training -

The database can be used for training new staff and for refresher training as part of drug strategy training throughout the year. The video clips can be useful for helping new staff identify the paraphernalia involved in the manufacture and use of controlled/illegal drugs and thus improve the searching skills of staff.

Healthcare -

Similar use to reception, especially where 24 hour cover does not exist, as other departments with access to TICTAC can identify finds 24 hours a day.

Drug strategy staff -

Helps to keep drug strategy staff up to date with drug information and helps with putting together training packages

Drug testing –

TICTAC contains immunoassay cross reactivity results for a number of point of care drug tests. This shows whether legitimate medicines give positive, negative or false positive results on point of care and laboratory drug tests.

Using TICTAC: Please scroll down for information about how TICAC is used.

To view a video showing how TICTAC is used, please click click here or on the video itself


TICTAC Identification

Identifying drugs with TICTAC is fast and easy. Simply enter the markings or other physical attributes as they appear on a tablet or capsule. The results are there in seconds



Need to know what this is, whether it is a controlled substance, what it is used for or who makes it? TICTAC will answer all of these and more in two seconds.

Just describe the tablet in TICTAC’s easy to use template


TICTAC does not just identify what the tablet is. TICTAC provides images, product name, active ingredients, size, weight, street names, legal status, manufacturer, audio clip of correct pronunciation and, for licensed medicines, dose, license number, brand name, and manufacturer.


One click drills down to the next level of information. This includes chemical structure, therapeutic category, legal status, metabolite information, links to other products with the same active ingredient and drug test immunoassay cross reactivity data.


And finally, for medicines, what they are used to treat. For more detailed information, click the SPC button on the initial results page.


The TICTAC system also provides a wealth of information about drugs, drug abuse and medicines. Whether you are after extensive information and images for a specific drug, news on drugs and drug abuse, videos of how drugs are consumed, the definition of a drug related slang term, or legislative information about drugs, all can easily and quickly be found in TICTAC. The drug information in TICTAC is as useful for expert witnesses as it is for drug related training. Examples of TICTAC’s drug information can be seen below.



Over 100 monographs providing detailed information about drugs and drug abuse



Current and archived news about medicines, drugs, drug trends, drug legislation and drug abuse. All located in one easy to access location.

Drug slang terms


lawnews03Don’t know what Ice is? Find out using TICTAC‘s dictionary of slang terms relating to drugs and drug abuse.

TICTAC videos


Instructive video clips on drug consumption and manufacturing.

Drug legislation

A comprehensive source of information on drug legislation.