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Met Police commander who wrote drug strategy is accused of taking drugs

He faces dismissal for allegedly taking LSD, magic mushrooms and cannabis on holiday in France

  • Aneesa Ahmed
  • 15 February 2022
Met Police commander who wrote drug strategy is accused of taking drugs

A Met Police commander, who was in charge of writing the force's current drug policy and strategy, faces dismissal for allegedly taking drugs while on holiday in France.

Commander Julian Bennett is alleged to have consumed cannabis, LSD, and magic mushrooms between February 2019 and July 2020 - Sky News reports.

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Bennett has also been accused of refusing to take a drug sampling test in July 2021 after being told that there were reasonable grounds to believe that he has consumed drugs.

He is currently set to face dismissal for gross misconduct and has been suspended on full pay since July 2021.

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Bennett was the commander for territorial policing and wrote the Met Police's current drug strategy.

Titled Dealing With The Impact Of Drugs On Communities, it set out to raise awareness of the harms of drug misuse.

Bennett claimed that he had taken CBD (cannabidiol) for a medical condition; an excuse that the charge said he "knew to be untrue."

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A photo, which was sent on Whatsapp, showing cannabis on a table has been submitted as evidence.

John Beggs, defending Bennett, claims that "witnesses may have cherry-picked" the messages that have been disclosed.

Mark Ley-Morgan QC, representing the police, said that all appropriate evidence has been submitted.

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This move to dismiss him has got some backlash from people on social media. VICE World News' Max Daly tweeted: "Everyone should be allowed to get high on holiday, even coppers."

Release Drug's Director Niamh Eastwood tweeted: "Drugs once again winning that war".

Read this next: How drugs won the war on drugs

Commander Bennett had previously presided over 74 misconduct hearings between June 2010 and February 2012 — involving 90 officers, according to a 2021 FOI request.

Of these hearings, over 75% of officers were dismissed — two of which were for drug misuse.

Aneesa Ahmed is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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