Met Police drugs strategy chief accused of 'smoking cannabis'

Commander Julian Bennett faces gross misconduct hearing over claims that he used drugs between February 2019 and July 2020

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A Scotland Yard commander, who has 44 years’ police service, has said that he smoked cannabis for medical reasons after he is to face a gross misconduct hearing.

Julian Bennett, who is in his 60s, led the force’s drug strategy and is accused of using controlled drugs off duty between February 2019 and July 2020, it is understood.

Cdr Bennett wrote the Met’s drug strategy called “Dealing with the impact of drugs on communities” in 2018.

The £136,000-a-year officer led misconduct hearings and set out the force’s goals to raise “awareness of the dangers of drug misuse” in the 2018 strategy.

Julian Bennett will answer three counts of discreditable conduct next February and it is alleged that he refused to provide a sample.

Commander Bennett has been suspended on full pay since July last year pending an investigation by the Metropolitan Police’s directorate of professional standards .