A senior police officer, who was dismissed this week due to serious misconduct, received a total payment of over £400,000 while on suspension with full pay throughout a lengthy three-year disciplinary process that incurred costs exceeding £1.5 million. Commander Julian Bennett, renowned for his contribution to Scotland Yard’s anti-drugs strategy, was found by a disciplinary panel to have declined a drug test and sought preferential treatment from the commissioner.
He had been accused of regularly consuming cannabis before commencing work and was scheduled to face disciplinary proceedings in February of the previous year. However, at the request of his legal representatives, the panel hearing was abruptly postponed, leading to a series of subsequent delays.
The individual in question, Bennett, 64, who has been a member of the force since 1976, was absolved of using the drug at his residence by the panel. However, they did find him in violation of force standards pertaining to honesty and integrity, and accused him of discreditable conduct due to his refusal to provide a urine sample.
According to a former officer who possesses detailed knowledge of the case, the extended duration in which proceedings were delayed by such a high-ranking figure, while still receiving his salary, could potentially lead to allegations of a ‘two-tiered system’. This individual further remarked, “We do not witness this type of behavior with lower-ranking officers who face accusations of misconduct.”
Bennett gained the moniker ‘Sacker’ due to his uncompromising approach towards misconduct hearings. Initially, when allegations regarding his use of cannabis and LSD surfaced, he offered his resignation, but this offer was declined.