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UK: Dozens of Met Police officers accused of drug offences in 5 years – but most keep their jobs

My reports on London

Almost 90 Met Police officers and staff have been charged with drug-related offenses in the past five years – and almost all of them have so far kept their jobs, MyLondon can reveal. Figures obtained via a Freedom of Information (FOI) request show that 70 police officers and 27 Met Police staff were charged with drug-related offenses between 2017 and 2022.

Of the 87 allegations, 22 involved cannabis, while 19 involved cocaine and another 12 involved other Class A which could include heroin and LSD. And of the 41 allegations where a “case to respond” was found (15 cases are ongoing), 37 were the subject of formal action or a referral to disciplinary proceedings. Yet only six were fired, while nine others were reportedly fired but resigned.

It comes after a series of high-profile cases among Encountered font officers charged with drug use. In February it emerged that a senior Metropolitan Police commander who wrote the force’s current report medication strategy faced dismissal after being accused of taking cannabis, LSD and magic mushrooms while on vacation in France. Commander Julian Bennett previously oversaw the firing of two officers for drug use.

And in January, a former Met Police officer avoided jail after hiding a ‘shoebox full of money’ of her corrupt copper husband as their house was raided by the police. Shareen Kashif, 30, also knew his PC partner Kashif Mahmood was part of an organized crime group and had pretended to stop and search drug dealers as a ploy to steal their money. He was sentenced to eight years in prison in May 2021 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to acquire criminal property and misconduct in public office.

“These numbers are a shame”

In the same month, more than 130 arrests were made during a three-day Met Police operation targeting drug-related crime on London’s roads and rail networks. The force seized large amounts of cocaine and cannabis, with Chief Inspector Rob Ranstead saying ‘tackling violent crime and the drug supply’ was ‘a top priority’.

Commenting on MyLondon’s findings, Tony Devenish, Conservative AM and member of the London Assembly Police Committee, told this site: “As a member of the Policing and Crime Committee, I have long argued for zero tolerance for drugs by the Met and the Mayor of London….these numbers are a disgrace.

A Met Police spokesperson said: “Of the 87 allegations, following a thorough and proportionate review/investigation, 41 cases have been identified as cases to be answered, of which 37 have been referred to formal proceedings. Of these 37 cases, only 21 have been finalized and the outcome for the remaining 16 is awaited. Of the 21 cases finalized, six were dismissed and nine should have been, which equates to a combined dismissal rate of 74% in this area.

“The difference between the results of ‘discharged’ and ‘would have been fired’ relates only to whether the officer was still on duty at the time of the hearing. Under current rules of conduct, an officer may take his retirement or resign while subject to proceedings.If this is the case, the MPS can use the Former Officers Conduct Regulations to ensure that the officer is still held accountable for his or her actions.

They added: “The fact that the MPS has prosecuted nine officers under these regulations shows how seriously it views officers using/possessing drugs. One of the key factors for the use of the Former Officers Conduct Regulations is that if the result of a misconduct hearing is that if the officer was still serving he “would have been discharged” he will be listed to the prohibited register, maintained and administered by the College of Policing which will prevent them from working in the police force in the future.

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