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Senior Met Police officer who set up operation to tackle youth violence failed drugs test

A SENIOR Met Police officer, who set up an operation to tackle youth violence caused by drug gangs, failed an illegal drug test while he was on duty.

Superintendent Aaron Clarke (above) is among a growing list of officers from Britain's biggest police force accused of abusing alcohol and drugs.

He resigned after he failed the routine drugs test in July.

A misconduct hearing last Monday<Nov13> heard that following an investigation by the Met's Directorate of Professional Standards, Supt Clarke - who worked on the North East Area Command - was found to have breached the standards of misconduct with regards discreditable conduct and fitness for duty after testing positive for an unspecified controlled drug.

The panel announced that Clarke would have been dismissed without notice were he still in post.

Chief Superintendent Simon Crick, said: “All officers are expected to maintain high standards both on and off duty – even more so those who are of a senior rank - and Supt Clarke knows that he has fallen far below the standards expected of him.”

Before resigning, he had been active on social media and in a video published on Facebook in April 2017 he talked about Operation Renounce that he set up while Inspector for the Acton area to combat youth violence and knife crime associated with street level drug dealing.

At the start of the month, the force announced details of five misconduct cases, including Mr Clarke's concerning officers accused of misusing illegal drugs and three about officers alleged to have driven while drunk.

It followed a string of similar cases in October and earlier this year.

The Met said the high numbers were a coincidence and not part of any blitz to tackle officer substance abuse.

However, in a number of the cases where misconduct was proven, the officers alleged they had turned to drunk or drugs due to the stress of the job, through low pay, long hours, witnessing horrific incidents and being assaulted.

Police union chiefs now want to "dig deep" into why so many officers appear to be turning to alcohol and illegal drugs to deal with the "stress of the job".

The Police Federation is set to investigate what has led to a perceived rise in officers with addiction problems and what measures forces have in place to deal with those suffering acute stress.

Paul Williams, federation's wellbeing lead, said: "It is certainly something that is well on our radar and we need to dig deep into this.

"We cannot rule out people trying it on as mitigation, but we need to explore the underlying causes."


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