Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick resigns amid criticism
Saturday, February 12, 2022
Dick's resignation took place just hours after she assured BBC she had "absolutely no intention" of leaving the post. However, in her stepping-down speech she concluded Khan "no longer has sufficient confidence in my leadership to continue", adding the mayor had left her "no choice but to step aside".
Khan placed Dick "on notice" from February 2 to reform the police service, the day after a report on police conduct was released. The February 1 report by the(IOPC) concluded "disgraceful" incidents of bullying, discrimination, misogyny and sexual harassment. She survived a number of scandals from 2019, after she was accused, and cleared of "deliberately [misleading] the public" over the inconclusive investigation.
However, recent criticism centred around "institutional corruption" in the force, which Dick denies. It also involves racist, sexist, homophobic and Islamophobic remarks by some of its constables at between 2016 and 2018. The February 1 report found that of the fourteen officers investigated for disparaging and sexist messages in two and one Facebook groups, nine remain serving. Additionally, two were promoted from constable to sergeant.
The force was also criticised for its belated investigation into Downing Street despite Covid-19 restrictions. Sources told The Guardian there was despondency in the and over the Met's scandals, which some view as partially resultant from Dick's "defensiveness"., a number of gatherings held at
In a statement, Khan said he was "not satisfied with the commissioner's response" to his demands for "change I believe is urgently required to rebuild the trust and confidence of Londoners in the Met". He added reform was necessary "to root out the racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying, discrimination and misogyny that still exists." Khan found an initial meeting with Dick after the report surfaced was inadequate; she resigned ahead of another meeting.
There is also discontent over the Met's handling ofby Met officer Wayne Couzens. Four people attending a vigil in her honour last year were arrested for breaching Covid-19 restrictions. Furthermore, the force faced ridicule in October after informing women fearing an approaching officer to . Otherwise, "shouting out to a passer-by, running into a house, knocking on a door, waving a bus down" were advised. This was accompanied by a new strategy against sexual violence and the formation of a dedicated unit against predatory offenders.
Both the Met and the government launched separate inquiries into the force's handling of Everard's murder. The independent government review is headed by Baroness.
In December, two constables were jailed for 33 months after taking and sharing photos on WhatsApp ofsisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman. Their mother Mina Smallman rejected an apology by the force, accusing it of racism and "dehumanising our children".
In the earlier Radio London interview, Dick, then adamant she would not resign, said "enough is enough", adding she was "seething angry" about the February 1 report. She encouraged she be held to account, saying "it's a big job", but she was "doing her best". She maintained the Met was "hugely capable in so many ways. However, she acknowledged its reputation has been tarnished by the "awful [findings in the report] and also some other awful things that have happened and come to light in the last several months".
While she led a "real transformation" as commissioner to tackle bad behaviour in the Met, "I'm not complacent". She maintained "there could be and probably will be, over the coming months, some more examples which will be embarrassing or disgusting because we will be rooting them out". BBC correspondent Lauren Moss said while the Met had issued many apologies in the past, this was the first to come from Dick herself.
Reactions to Dick's resignation were mixed. Former IOPC superintendent and Met officertold the Dick stepping down was part of the radical action needed to combat a "sub-culture" of sexism and racism. Mehtab added: "The level of violence against women being expressed in [the Facebook and WhatsApp] messages damages the trust women and girls have in the police."
Alastair Morgan, brother of the Stephen Port, was "glad". He said: "I held Cressida accountable for [Met] failures and made a statement that she should ‘resign with immediate effect’., told The Guardian "since [first interacting with Dick in 2012] all she has done in relation to my family is just delay, obstruct and disappoint on a huge level". While "it is a shame that we are seeing another commissioner disappear under a cloud of smoke, it is necessary." The sentiment was shared by activist organisations Reclaim These Streets and . Ricky Waumsley, whose partner Daniel Whitworth was one of the four targets of serial killer
Calls remain to institute long-lasting change. Ruth Davidson of charitysaid "one resignation at the top doesn’t mean the police have solved their misogyny problem" and called for "root and branch reform" across the UK. Mehtab said "This is not just a few ‘bad apples’ which is a term that the Met keeps using to deflect criticism" for its behaviour. Journalist alluded the present scandals facing the force to the 1970s police corruption investigation , which resulted in hundreds of Met officers resigning or retiring, and eight prosecutions.
However, Dick found support in the chair of the Met Foundation Ken Marsh, who said she "should have been given the opportunity and the necessary time to build back trust in the Metropolitan police service." Khan, Home Secretary Boris Johnson thanked Dick for her service. Johnson, former London mayor currently under investigation for his involvement in Partygate, said Dick "served her country with great dedication and distinction".and Prime Minister
Khan promised to work closely with Patel to appoint a new commissioner "so that we can move quickly to restore trust in the capital’s police service while keeping London safe." Dick will continue serving in a caretaker capacity before a successor is decided.
Dick joined the force as a constable in 1983, and headed the anti-gangin 2003. As head of following the , Dick was investigated but cleared of "personal culpability". She became the first female commissioner on February 22, 2017 after working in the from 2011, earning a salary of 230 thousand.
The i understands Khan is proud of Dick's record against violent crime, although the number of teenagers killed in London last year reached its highest level since 2008.
- "Judge jails 'monstrous' London serial killer Stephen Port" — Wikinews, November 27, 2016
- "London bombing death toll rises to 'more than 50'" — Wikinews, July 8, 2005
- Tom Ambrose. "‘It is necessary’: Cressida Dick critics touched by Met police scandals welcome her resignation" — , February 11, 2022
- Vikram Dodd. "Dame Cressida Dick forced out of scandal-hit Met police" — , February 10, 2022
- Tom Ambrose. "Cressida Dick timeline: Met commissioner dogged by controversies" — , February 10, 2022
- Chloe Chaplain, Arj Singh. "Met Police: Cressida Dick quits as Commissioner following mounting criticism" — , February 10, 2022
- Robert Verkaik. "Met Police: How Cressida Dick’s poor leadership of inexperienced officers led to her resignation" — , February 10, 2022
- "Met Police: Dame Cressida Dick says she has no intention of quitting" — , February 10, 2022
- "Met Police: Misogyny, racism, bullying, sex harassment discovered" — , February 1, 2022
- "Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman: Met PCs jailed for crime scene images" — , December 6, 2021
- Joe Middleton. "Met Police issues advice to women to ‘shout or wave a bus down’ if they don’t trust a male officer" — , October 1, 2021