Physical checks and urine tests will be conducted on youngsters involved in drug-related crime at two magistrates' courts under a pilot scheme that will start in October. Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said that to strengthen services to help drug abusers younger than 21, the tests would be introduced at Kowloon City Court and Kwun Tong Court. The physical checks will include tests of the heart, lungs and co-ordination to see if the youngsters have been affected by drugs. 'Two more social workers will be deployed to each court, bringing the total to four, to strengthen counselling services for young people involved in drug crimes,' Mr Cheung said. 'Body checks and urine tests will also be carried out. We hope this can help guide youngsters involved in drug crime back on the right track.' The two-year pilot scheme would be extended to other magistrates' courts if it proved successful, he said. There are now 110 probation officers serving the courts, including 22 at Kowloon City Court and 16 at Kwun Tong Court. 'We will deploy four experienced probation officers to take charge of the expanded service, and their original posts will be filled through open recruitment,' a spokeswoman for the Social Welfare Department said. Grace Li Tip, of the Community Drug Advisory Council, welcomed the move. 'It is always better to have extra hands,' she said. 'The overall number of drug-related crime cases involving youngsters has risen recently ... So it is good to have two more social workers specialising in this kind of case at each court.' Police statistics show that 1,137 offenders younger than 20 were arrested last year and 598 were netted in the first six months of this year. A total of 142 teenagers aged between 10 and 15 were arrested last year and 94 in the first half of this year, while 995 aged from 16 to 20 were arrested in 2008 and 504 in the first six months of this year. Mr Cheung said a registered nurse would be at each counselling centre for users of psychotropic substances - such drugs as amphetamines, barbiturates and psychedelics - where physical checks and drug tests would be conducted. The service at the seven centres will start in October. Places for 60 more patients would be added at drug rehabilitation centres by the end of this year, he said. 'The government is open to all kinds of opinions regarding counselling services for teenagers with drug problems spotted under a voluntary drug-testing scheme that will be introduced in Tai Po,' Mr Cheung said. Permanent Secretary for Education Raymond Wong Hung-chiu said an amended version of the preliminary drug-testing scheme would be rolled out later this month, after the public had a chance to give opinions. Meanwhile, Senior Inspector Leung Kin-man of the narcotics bureau said there would be no prosecutions against students found to have drug abuse problems in the drug-testing scheme beginning in Tai Po in December. He was speaking at an anti-drug seminar at Queen's College attended by about 400 secondary school teachers yesterday. 'But young people intercepted by police officers on the streets or those found to have this problem will be prosecuted,' he said. To better protect the privacy of students found abusing drugs, Senior Inspector Lam said, uniformed officers would not be sent to schools under the drug-testing scheme.