Police Chief Faces Music Over Outburst on Website 

Police Chief Faces Music Over Outburst on Website 
Posted by FoM on February 19, 2002 at 20:09:20 PT
By Nick Hopkins, Crime Correspondent
Source: Guardian Unlimited
The senior police officer in charge of a controversial cannabis initiative found himself at the centre of another furore yesterday over outspoken remarks he is supposed to have made to a website renowned for its coverage of direct action protests. Commander Brian Paddick, who is in charge of policing in Lambeth, south London, told -- -- that "the concept of anarchism has always appealed to me". 
Using the chatroom name Brian: The Commander, he also implied that certain drugs should be legalised. "What do I really think? We need to take the criminality out of it by legislation and strict control." Mr Paddick, whose candour has not always been appreciated by his bosses at Scotland Yard, used forthright language to make his points. "Bottom line - screw the dealers, help the addicts ... I don't give two hoots about my promotion prospects ... do not treat all police officers as lapdogs of a corrupt capitalist system. Dogs sometimes turn on their owners." The highest ranking openly gay officer in the Met, Mr Paddick also admitted that "someone has already found out which gay club I go to and is trying to cause serious shit for me." Other senior officers at Scotland Yard indicated that a more immediate worry is the reception he will get when he returns from holiday in Australia and is summoned to headquarters. Although Mr Paddick has not broken any disciplinary codes, some at the Met believe he is "too honest for his own good" and needs to be persuaded that there are occasions when, for the sake of the force, his maverick views are best kept to himself. It will not be the first time Mr Paddick has been called to Scotland Yard to clarify his position on a sensitive matter. Last November he received unwanted headlines when he appeared to tell a committee of MPs that he was not interested in "weekend" drug users who take small amounts of cocaine and ecstasy. "If I felt my officers were going into nightclubs looking for people in possession of ecstasy, then I would say to them, and I would say publicly, they are wasting valuable police resources," he said. Mr Paddick, 43, inspired the "softly softly" drugs scheme that has been operating in Lambeth since the middle of last year. Under the initiative, people caught with a small amount of cannabis are cautioned rather than arrested; the pilot has already saved officers thousands of hours of work, but it has been severely criticised by the Police Federation and rightwing critics who believe that it sends the wrong signals to drug users. An independent study of the scheme is expected to be published next month and the Met was hoping that Mr Paddick would keep a low profile until then. Before leaving for Australia, the borough commander told the Big Issue that he had contributed to the website, but Scotland Yard said it could not comment further until Mr Paddick returned. "We cannot confirm that Commander Paddick made these remarks," said a spokesman. "He is on annual leave and there is no way of verifying the alleged comments." Special Report: Drugs in Britain:,2759,178206,00.htmlSource: Guardian Unlimited, The (UK) Author: Nick Hopkins, Crime CorrespondentPublished: Wednesday, February 20, 2002Copyright: 2002 Guardian Newspapers LimitedContact: letters Articles:Dutch Official Recommends Drug Cafes Model for UK Drug Laws Advised To Legalise Cannabis Cafes
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #1 posted by Morgan on February 20, 2002 at 07:27:36 PT
... some at the Met believe he is "too honest for his own good"...Message to the children...HONESTY IS BAD!Uh, excuse me, but your wheels are coming off.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment