Priti says new Met chief must tackle policing culture


UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday said that the new Metropolitan Police commissioner must tackle police culture and conduct.

In a statement the home secretary said “strong and decisive new leadership will be required to restore public confidence” in London’s police force.
Patel had expressed thanks to Dame Cressida Dick, who resigned as Britain’s top cop on Thursday, for her service.

“She was the first woman to hold the post and has exemplified the increasingly diverse nature of our police, demonstrating that all can aspire to hold leadership roles in policing in this country today,” Patel said.

Patel said she wants to “reassure Londoners and people across the country of my commitment to selecting the right leader for the largest police force in the country.”

“Leading the Met is a privilege with enormous and unique responsibilities. The first duty is to protect the public, the people and the streets of our capital, making London a safer place to live, work and visit,” she said.
“The Commissioner is a national leader, with a critical national role in respect of overseeing our counter terrorism capability when there remain a variety of threats out there from people and groups who wish this country harm.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel and Cressida Dick, former Metropolitan Police Commissioner. (Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street)

“This is the biggest leadership role in policing. However, at this particular time, the challenges facing the new Commissioner are stark and could not be more sobering.”

Following a series of appalling and sickening incidents and too many historical cases involving serving Met Police officers, it is clear that strong and decisive and new leadership will be required to restore public confidence in the largest police force in the country, Patel said.

She also urged the public in London and across the entire country to once again have the confidence to trust the integrity and professionalism of the police officers who serve them.

“Policing culture, conduct, attitudes and behaviours have rightly all come under scrutiny and be in no doubt that a new leader must tackle these institutional issues that have brought great shame on elements of policing,” she said.

“I will appoint a Commissioner who will deliver for the public whom our police serve and represent. Beating crime, preventing crime, protecting our citizens, our streets and communities at a time when this government is investing record sums into the police, is paramount.”

“And above all that’s what I – and the public across the country – will want from the country’s most senior police officer: someone focused on the basics of reducing violence in the city, tackling the abuse of women and girls, ridding our streets of drugs, knives and weapons, saving lives and protecting the public from the those who wish to do them harm,” she concluded.

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.

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.

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