Unfair cop

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It was inevitable that Commander Brian Paddick of the Metropolitan Police would be moved from his job while an inquiry is carried out into allegations that he breached disciplinary regulations. The various allegations about him that appeared in the Sunday newspapers, or rather those that directly concern his ability to do his job, must be properly investigated. Whatever view is taken about the merits of certain laws, it would be wrong to permit a situation in which police officers felt that they can ignore them with impunity.

That said, though, the contribution that Commander Paddick has made to the police service in Brixton needs to be recognised. It was he, after all, who was brave enough to recognise that the law against cannabis wasn't working and, what's more, was preventing his officers from fighting the much more serious threat posed by hard drugs such as crack cocaine.

From Commander Paddick's work on the ground in Brixton flowed the Home Secretary's move to declassify cannabis. That was a significant and welcome achievement. If cleared, Commander Paddick must be reinstated without delay.