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ESR’s Lumi™ Drug Scan shortlisted for prestigious world police award

02 March 2023

Lumi™ Drug Scan
Lumi Drug Scan Graphic Esr
Lumi Drug Scan Graphic Esr

Pioneering New Zealand science that lets police immediately identify methamphetamine-like substances using their mobile phone is in the running for a major international award next week.

The Lumi™ Drug Scan service co-developed by ESR forensic experts and New Zealand Police has been shortlisted for the Excellence in Forensic Science Award at this year’s World Police Summit in Dubai, underscoring the positive difference Lumi™ can make when it comes to reducing drug harm and supporting frontline decision making.

Using Lumi™ is as straightforward as placing a suspected illicit drug item on the handheld device, which pairs via Bluetooth to the Lumi™ app on the officer’s mobile phone. Results are generated within seconds and displayed within the Lumi™ app.

This allows front-line officers to gain reliable, real-time results as to whether an item contains methamphetamine (P), cocaine, or MDMA (ecstasy), and supports them to make evidence-informed decisions when dealing with suspected illicit drugs. Lumi™ Drug Screen Manager Dion Sheppard of ESR says his team is humbled to be shortlisted.

“It is fantastic recognition of the collaborative approach undertaken by ESR and NZ Police combining forensic science expertise with policing experience and speaks to the reputation Lumi™ is gaining as being a solution tuned to the needs of frontline responders.

“Lumi™ helps support law enforcement to achieve better outcomes with its inherent focus on mobility, reliability and speed of results,” says Dion.

What makes Lumi™ unique is that it was developed by ESR experts working closely with New Zealand Police officers, ensuring it fits the needs of those on the frontline. New Zealand Police rolled-out Lumi™ nationwide in July 2022, following a six-month trial.

“Lumi™ combines a lightweight near-infrared scanning device and the latest machine learning advancements to detect the presence of cocaine, MDMA, or methamphetamine in a sample. Additional drug detection models are in development to expand the capability to suit each jurisdiction’s specific needs. Lumi™ analysis results are presented in the Lumi™ app on the officer’s smartphone in seconds. The Lumi™ cloud-hosted machine learning model has been trained from thousands of real-world illicit drug samples ensuring analysis is relevant to the variety of samples intercepted by frontline responders.

“Lumi™ also gives police leaders unprecedented insights about drug use in their regions via the online Lumi™ analytics dashboard. This real-time intervention data helps inform decision-making about where to send resources, whether it’s police, health or social support,” Dion says.

Dion will attend the Awards gala in Dubai from 7-9 March. Head to link) to find out more about Lumi™ and how it can support law enforcement agencies.

Notes to editors

  • Lumi™ has accuracy of over 95 per cent.
  • Lumi™ has six key benefits:
    1. Always available analysis. Scan any item, anytime, anywhere with the always on Lumi™.
    2. Frontline staff protected from sample exposure. Get results without having to handle the item samples, protecting frontline staff from exposure and maintaining the integrity of samples.
    3. Electronic case and sample records. A fully electronic case record generated for every sample, ensuring complete chain of custody and a consistent process from the point of interception.
    4. Data informed deployment. Every result instantly available for review and monitoring in the comprehensive analytics platform.
    5. Forensic quality and reliability engineered in. Results underpinned by a forensic organisation with an international reputation for quality forensic services.
    6. Police enabled access control. Secure access and authentication controlled by police organisation.
  • Click here for mor detailed information about Lumi™.
  • A leaflet with detailed information about how Lumi™ works can be downloaded here.