Head of London Police quits

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Cressida Dick, the first woman to lead the country’s largest police force, had been under pressure over a number of issues that recently generated adverse publicity for the Met … reports LDD newsdesk

Commissioner Cressida Dick, Head of London’s Metropolitan Police (Met), announced Thursday evening that she has resigned as Britain’s top cop.

Cressida Dick, the first woman to lead the country’s largest police force, had been under pressure over a number of issues that recently generated adverse publicity for the Met. The Police Chief said her decision followed contact with the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan earlier on Thursday.

  “It is clear that the Mayor no longer has sufficient confidence in my leadership to continue. He has left me no choice but to step aside as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service,” she added in a statement.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Dame Cressida “has served her country with great dedication and distinction over many decades”.

The home secretary said the police chief held the role “during challenging times” and that she “exemplified the increasingly diverse nature of our police”.

Susan Hall, leader of the Greater London Assembly Conservatives, said Mr Khan had handled the situation “extremely badly”. She said the resignation made Londoners less safe and left a “void” at the top of the Met.

 Dick said at the Mayor’s request she agreed to stay on for a short period to ensure the stability of the Met and its leadership while arrangements are made for a transition to a new Commissioner.

 She has been at the helm at the Met during a period that saw terrorist attacks, the Grenfell fire, protests, and the pandemic. Dick also acknowledged the impact of a number of events that have harmed the image of the force.

She said the murder by a serving Met police officer of female citizen Sarah Everard, and many other awful cases recently have damaged confidence in police service.

In a statement from City Hall, Khan said urgent changes were required in the Met to root out the racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying, discrimination and misogyny that still exist, and he is not satisfied with the Commissioner’s response.

Earlier this February, a report by the Independent Office for Police Conduct, Britain’s police conduct authority, unveiled evidence of bullying and discrimination within the ranks of Met.

  “Disgraceful behaviour” by police officers, including racism, misogyny, harassment and the exchange of offensive social media messages, was highlighted in the report.

 Dame Cressida, the first woman to lead the biggest UK police force, also faced criticism over the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Met officer last year. Beyond London, the Met is also responsible for national counter-terrorism policing.

Her successor will be appointed by the home secretary, in consultation with the mayor of London. Contenders include Matt Jukes and Neil Basu, who are both assistant Met commissioners.

Dame Cressida said she had “agreed to stay for a short period to ensure the stability of the Met”.

Former Met Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson told LBC “we should be casting the net as wide as possible” to find the best candidate for the role, including outside policing.

Speaking on BBC London hours before her departure was announced, Dame Cressida insisted that she had “absolutely no intention” of quitting, and that she was “seething angry” about the culture at Charing Cross police station, which was exposed by the police watchdog. But Mr Khan said he was “not satisfied” with Dame Cressida’s response to the scale of change required to “root out” racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying and misogyny in the Met.

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