UK

Cressida Dick steps down as Met Police commissioner as latest scandal proves final straw

Josh Milton February 10, 2022
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Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick

Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Cressida Dick, the embattled commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police Service, has resigned, leaving behind a Scotland Yard rocked by mounting scandal.

Days after an explosive report from England’s police watchdog exposed a troubling pattern of bullying and homophobia within the Met, Dick is to step down from the top post, the Met announced Thursday evening (10 February).

She had only recently been placed “on notice” by the mayor of London Sadiq Khan as the pair’s relationship frayed amid pleas for police reform and plunging public confidence in her leadership.

Despite only hours before stressing that she had “no intention” of standing down, it appeared that Khan saw it differently.

In a statement, Dick said that Khan, sceptical in her ability to lead the Met, left her with “no choice” but to resign two years early.

“It is with huge sadness that following contact with the Mayor of London it is clear that he no longer has sufficient confidence in my leadership of the Met to continue,” Dick said in a statement.

“He has left me no choice but to step aside as Commissioner. At his request, I have 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.”

“Undertaking this role as a servant of the people of London and the UK has been the greatest honour and privilege of my life.”

The 61-year-old became the first woman and openly gay officer to lead London’s force in 2017.

A onetime beat cop in the West End, she soon helmed Scotland Yard’s counterterrorism task force between 2011 to 2014 before leaving the force after 31 years to become a general secretary for the Foreign Office.

Dick’s five-year term as commissioner was set to end in April this year only for it to be extended to 2024 by home secretary Priti Patel.

Now, she leaves in the wake of a wave of scandal.

“Last week, I made clear to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner the scale of the change I believe is urgently required to rebuild the trust and confidence of Londoners in the Met and to root out the racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying, discrimination and misogyny that still exists,” Khan said in a statement.

“I am not satisfied with the Commissioner’s response. On being informed of this, Dame Cressida Dick has said she will be standing aside.

“It’s clear that the only way to start to deliver the scale of the change required is to have new leadership right at the top of the Metropolitan Police.”

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