Met Police officer whose job was to protect MPs tests positive for cocaine at work

25 October 2023, 12:23

A former PaDP officer took cocaine at work
A former PaDP officer took cocaine at work. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

A police officer whose job is to protect government ministers and diplomats has tested positive for cocaine at work.

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Matthew Thomas, a former police constable with the Met's Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection unit, is facing a gross misconduct hearing on Wednesday after the drugs test.

The Met said it received intelligence on March 31 that Mr Thomas had been taking drugs. Roughly three weeks later, he was tested at work, and tested positive for cocaine.

The Met said that Mr Thomas' actions mean he was not fit for duty, and amounted to discreditable conduct. A gross misconduct hearing was set up in an accelerated timeframe. Mr Thomas has since quit the force.

The Met added: "It is alleged that these circumstances amount to Gross Misconduct in that they amount to a breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour that, if proved, is so serious that dismissal would be justified had former PC Thomas still been serving."

Read more: Met police losing more officers than it is recruiting, says Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley

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Sir Mark Rowley: '2 or 3 years' work to clean up the Met

Met Police chief Sir Mark Rowley raised concerns in September over the reduction in officer numbers in his force.

The commissioner, giving evidence to the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee, said recruitment had been challenging and his biggest concern now is that he was losing more officers than were coming through the doors.

In April, the force was 1,000 short of its recruitment target of bringing in 10,000 new officers as part of the government’s uplift programme.

Mark Rowley says police enforce the law over 'taste and decency' in statement

Meanwhile 300 Met officers are awaiting gross misconduct hearings - a disciplinary process for serious breaches of professional conduct that could see them fired and banned from working for the police again.

This is a serious increase on last year, and the force is trying to hold 30 hearings per month to cut down the backlog.

Sir Mark, who was hired last September after a series of scandals rocked the Met, has said it would take him two or three years to clear up the force.

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