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Monday, 11 March, 2002, 11:37 GMT
Police chief rebuked over 'anarchy' remark
Commander Brian Paddick
Brian Paddick says he wants to engage in debate
A police chief who said he found anarchism "attractive" has been told by his bosses that his remarks have caused concern but he will not face any disciplinary action.

Brian Paddick, Commander of Lambeth Police in south London, has met Sir John Stevens, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, after returning to work from three-weeks annual leave.

He was on holiday in Australia and Asia when the furore over his comments, published on the internet, blew up.

Mr Paddick has accepted that the row over his remarks could affect his ability to do his job, but there was no breach of discipline.

Second rebuke

In a statement after the meeting, the Metropolitan Police said his use of the internet as a means of communicating with the diverse communities was supported.

But there was concern over the language used.

The statement added that Mr Paddick confirmed that he is strongly opposed to any form of anarchy and has never believed that anarchism is a practical alternative to the rule of law and the maintenance of order.

Commander Paddick has already been rebuked by Sir John for saying arresting people for using ecstasy was "low" on his priority list.

Mr Paddick is in charge of piloting a new "softly softly" policy on cannabis in Brixton and made the remark to a committee of MPs.


The concept of anarchism has always appealed to me. The idea of the innate goodness of the individual that is corrupted by society or the system.

Commander Brian Paddick

He made his comments about anarchy on www.urban75.com which is devoted to discussions of direct action protests, anarchy and drugs issues.

They were posted under the name "Brian: The Commander".

In one, he said: "The concept of anarchism has always appealed to me.

"The idea of the innate goodness of the individual that is corrupted by society or the system.

"It is a theoretical argument but I am not sure everyone would behave well if there were no laws and no system."

Broaden understanding

In a discussion about drugs he said: "We need to take the criminality out of it by legalisation and strict control."

Commander Paddick admitted that he was responsible for the Internet postings, more than 20 of them, in an interview with the Big Issue magazine.

He said he was trying to broaden his understanding by engaging in debate with people who might have different views on policing.

He made a posting on the web site from Australia a few days after the furore erupted.

It said: "Respect, you guys. Brian (Oz)."


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