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BBC Radio Four Interviews Richard Sleeman: A recipe for detecting cocaine on banknotes

What happens when Tim Harford and the BBC Radio Four More or Less team try to make sense of the statistics contained in our latest paper? The results are more entertaining than you think!

Tim Harford presents BBC Radio Four's surprising and refreshing guide to statistics in the news. The program aims to explain - and sometimes debunk - the numbers and statistics used in political debate, the news and everyday life. So when we got the call to explain our paper that looked at the distribution of cocaine on banknotes in the UK, we jumped at the chance.

The paper in question, a study that appeared in Forensic Science International entitled Distribution of cocaine on banknotes in general circulation in England and Wales (C.G.G. Aitken,  A.  Wilson,  R.  Sleeman,  B.E.M.  Morgan, J.  Huish) concluded that there is no variation in the distribution of illicit drugs - cocaine in the case of the study - on banknotes in general circulation in the UK. Richard Sleeman explains on the radio program how this impacts various urban myths about cocaine on bank notes in different cities around the UK and how we use this to prove that some bank notes have been involved specifically in illicit drug activity.

The result is an interesting interpretation by the program on the best recipe for detecting drugs on banknotes.

You can listen to the full Interview here.


Contact Mass Spec Analytical on  +44(0)117 428 5787