Paddick and Lambeth: Time Line


May 2000


Met report “Clearing the Decks” examines options for treating less serious crimes, including cannabis possesion, with warnings rather than arrest. Not persued at that point for administrative and resource reasons






January 2001


Brian Paddick is appointed as the Borough commander for Lambeth in South London.






2 July


Start of the so called ‘Cannabis Trial’ in Lambeth, in which people caught with small amounts of cannabis receive a warning instead of being arrested and eventually prosecuted.






21 November


Brian Paddick testifies before the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee looking into current drug laws.






5 January 2002


Brian Paddick starts to post on the Brixton board of Urban 75, a non-profit web-ezine.






19 February


Commander Paddick faces rebuke over anarchism remarks, taken out of context, on Urban 75.






17 March


The Mail on Sunday publishes claims by a former partner of Brian Paddick concerning alleged drugs misdemeanours






18 March


Brian Paddick is moved from his post as Borough commander for Lambeth pending an inquiry into claims about his private life.






19 March


The Mayor of London, Ken Livingston calls for the reinstatement of police commander Brian Paddick.






20 March


New crime statistics indicates a dramatic fall in crime figures in Lambeth






22 March


A MORI poll about the ‘Cannabis Trial’ shows a huge public support for the scheme 






24 March


Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens pledges, that if the charges against  Commander Paddick are not proved, he will return to his duties in Lambeth.






25 March


Religious leaders from across the spectrum give their support for ousted police chief, Brian Paddick.






26 March


More than 300 members of the public cheer Commander Paddick at a public meeting in Brixton organised to launch the campaign for his reinstatement.






29 March


The Metropolitan Police Authority starts an official inquiry into whether Commander Brian Paddick committed drugs offences.






24 April


Supporters of police chief Brian Paddick are presenting a 5,000-signature petition to Scotland Yard calling for him to be returned to his old job.






10 July


Crime statistics for the Trial period to date show increased interventions for cannabis, increased arrests for Class A drugs, street crime down by 49% and burglary down by 18%. Street crime and burglary falling faster in Lambeth than in London overall.






12 July


Home Secretary David Blunkett announces the reclassification of cannabis from a class B to class C.






1 August


The Metropolitan Police Service formally ends the cannabis trial in Lambeth, introducing warnings on a permanent basis.






13 September


A police report into drugs and other allegations against Commander Brian is referred to the Crown Prosecution Service by the investigating officer.






15 September


Media carry “Monday – D DAY for Paddick” stories.






16 September


Abortive meeting MPA’s disciplinary panel. Headlines, “Paddick to face possible drugs charges”.






26 September


Formal report of Met evaluation of, and key learning from, the Cannabis Trial presented to the MPA. Trial declared a success in providing a proportionate and ethical response, whilst saving resources in the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and in the Courts. Claims of drugs tourism and increased use by children refuted.






9 October


The Metropolitan police informed the public that Commander Paddick, as a result of a "realignment" of senior posts, will not return to his south London post even if he is cleared of the allegations.






10 October


The Crown Prosecution Service announces that Brian Paddick will not face criminal charges over drugs allegations.






14 October


MPA disciplinary panel invite Brian Paddick to supply observations on aspects of the investigating officer’s report. Acenture begin their review of the borough command structure.






14 October


September crime statistics show Lambeth leading London in falls in street crime.






14 October


Public meeting in Lambeth renews calls for Paddick’s reinstatement.






9 November


Commissioner Sir John Stevens and MPA Chair Lord Toby Harris address Mayor’s London Conference. Lord Toby asserts that the Met must be seen to reflect the diversity of the city it polices and that it must be seen to be a fair employer. Sir John affirms the Met’s commitment to consulting communities to build trust and confidence. Both vehemently defend the Met’s independence from political interference.






12 November


MPA disciplinary panel determine that there will be no disciplinary charges and that the matter is “closed”.






24 November


In a letter to lambeth4paddick, Lord Toby abrogates any responsibility for the handling of the affair, describing it as an operational policing issue. He relays Sir John’s “standard response”  






4 December


The Labour Group on Lambeth Borough Council put down a motion calling for Paddick’s reinstatement.






6 December


Brian Paddick accepts that he will not be returning to Lambeth.






10 December


Lord Harris (Chair, MPA) indicates that Accenture review will recommend removal of Commander post from Lambeth.






13 December


Paddick voted “Greatest South Londoner” in South London Press phone poll.






17 December


Paddick’s deputy set to move on.