Paddick moves on

6 December 2002

Commander Brian Paddick’s statement

We say:

To be the police Commander for Lambeth was my career ambition from 1980 when I first served in the Borough. My fifteen months as Lambeth’s Commander were the most challenging and most fulfilling of my police service. For me it was not just a job, it was a personal commitment to those I worked for, both to the people of Lambeth and to those brave and committed men and women, the police and support staff of Lambeth. I look back on this time with enormous pride.

Were I now to return to Lambeth as the Borough Commander, certain sections of the media, whose intentions have been clear from the start, would no doubt highlight and exaggerate the challenges that Lambeth faces. I would anticipate unreasonable and unjustified attention on the work of my colleagues in the police and unfounded criticism of them should crime rise for any reason.

The Commissioner has made it clear that I should move on to other duties. Were the Commissioner and his senior colleagues to be pressurised, against their own professional judgement, into reversing their decision, I could not be sure that the London Borough of Lambeth would get the level of support from Scotland Yard that it needs and has every right to expect. My successor is more likely to secure such support.

For these reasons it is with great reluctance that I have decided it is time for me to put the needs of Lambeth before my own desire to return.  However unfair and unjustified, I believe it is now in the best interests of Lambeth that I move on

I have spent most of my twenty-six years police service working in London boroughs.  Having been a commander in two different boroughs over a period of four years, I am one of the most experienced ACPO rank officers in borough policing.  I can with authority say, based on the size, complexity and challenge of the job, my successor in Lambeth should be of ACPO rank.

I want to thank all my supporters for their unswerving loyalty.  It was a privilege to serve you as Lambeth’s Commander.  I will continue to have close links with the borough and with Brixton in particular.  I hope to serve you again in the future in some other capacity.  Lambeth is a wonderful place, a great Borough and I wish you all every success in the future.

Brian Paddick

6 December 2002


We offer Brian Paddick every good wish for the future and our thanks for his commitment in serving our borough. Had he chosen to keep his thinking within the box and his head below the parapet, he may well still be in Lambeth today. He pushed the envelope for change and has paid the price.

We have all learned just how weak our institutions, and those to whom we entrust their stewardship, are in the face of political attack. In this case a newspaper, with an unashamed political agenda, bought a set of allegations against a public servant and the Commissioner has delivered his scalp.

The elected Chair of the MPA has looked the other way and the elected Councillors in the borough have scored party political debating points.This they have done in the face of the expressed support of thousands, in the borough, for Commander Paddick and his style of policing.

When they ponder the derisory turnouts on which their mandate rests, perhaps they will admit their failure to connect with the interests of ordinary people, a failure the Paddick affair has so well exemplified.