Cressida Dick to continue as Met Police Commissioner until 2024, Priti Patel confirms


Cressida Dick to continue as Met Police Commissioner until 2024, Priti Patel confirms

Dame Cressida Dick will continue to lead the Metropolitan Police Service until 2024, Home Secretary Priti Patel has confirmed.

The Home Office said a two-year extension to Dame Cressida Dick’s term as Metropolitan Police Commissioner had been granted by the Queen following a recommendation from the Home Secretary.

Her fixed-term appointment was due to expire in April 2022.

Priti Patel said: “I am pleased to announce that Dame Cressida will continue to lead the Metropolitan Police until April 2024 and wish to thank her for her service to date.

“Her extension will provide continuity and stability as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and recruit 20,000 additional police officers.”

Dame Cressida said she was “immensely honoured and humbled” to continue in the role and added: “I look forward to continuing to work with my dedicated, courageous colleagues and the public to create an even more visible, stronger and professional Met.

“We will strive to prevent and reduce violence and the crimes Londoners care most about, bring more criminals to justice, and protect, support and build the confidence of all our communities.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who consulted with the Home Secretary on the decision to extend Dame Cressida Dick’s term as Met Police Commissioner, said she would provide “experienced and strong leadership” as London emerges from the pandemic.

He added: “The Met Commissioner has the most difficult policing job in the country, overseeing the safety of more than 10 million people living, working and visiting our global city.

“The last four-and-a-half years have also presented significant additional challenges for the Met, including terror attacks, the tragedy of Grenfell Tower, rising public order incidents and policing challenging Covid-19 restrictions.

“It’s my role as Mayor to both support the Commissioner and hold her to account, and I will continue to do so to ensure we continue to reduce serious violence in all its forms and increase trust and confidence in our police force among London’s diverse communities.”

It comes after Scotland Yard officers gave their “full support” to their boss amid critics calling for her to be replaced.

Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents more than 30,000 officers in London, said Dame Cressida had the “full support of the rank and file”.

But a letter from a number of high-profile figures was sent earlier this week urging Boris Johnson to replace the Commissioner, arguing that she “must be properly investigated for her conduct, along with predecessors and those in her inner circle, who she appointed and who have questions to answer”.

Signatories included Baroness Doreen Lawrence, Lady Diana Brittan, former Tory MP Harvey Proctor and broadcaster Paul Gambaccini – who have all expressed disappointment or criticism of the police over cases affecting them.

Their letter also urged the police watchdog, the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC), to introduce reforms.

Mr Marsh said he understands “fully” the positions the letter signatories are in and his “heart goes out to them”.

He said he did not have an issue with police reform “whatsoever”, but said “that’s for the Government to decide”.

Asked about criticism of Dame Cressida he said: “From what I’ve seen she’s done everything she can to answer all comments that are put to her and everything that’s put in front of her.”

In a separate statement issued by Mr Marsh’s federation it said it “fully supports” the contract extension, adding: “It is easy to comment and criticise from the sidelines.”

It added: “Whilst the federation does not always agree with the Commissioner – the same goes for anyone who holds that post – we think she is doing a good job in difficult circumstances.

“Many of the voices we hear calling for the Commissioner to go are the same ones who, following the Clapham Common vigil earlier this year, rounded on our colleagues criticising their work.

“They were, of course, proven to be completely wrong when Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary looked at the policing of the event.

“We have worked with this commissioner for a number of years now and believe she is still the best candidate for the role.

“We know her to be an ethical, courageous and highly competent police leader who genuinely cares about London, its citizens and her officers.”

On Thursday, Mr Proctor warned that Dame Cressida should be replaced to ensure any future “errors” by the Met are avoided.

The ex-Tory MP was one of three men who had their houses raided by officers from the Met’s failed Operation Midland, which was launched in reaction to false allegations by jailed fantasist Carl Beech about a murderous VIP paedophile ring.

Mr Gambaccini, who was falsely accused of historical se-x offences, said: “Londoners deserve a first class police service, they do not currently have one.”

Baroness Lawrence, mother of teenager Stephen Lawrence, who died in a racist at-tack in 1993, has previously voiced her disappointment after an investigation into her son’s dea-th was shelved last year.

Meanwhile Lady Brittan, whose home was raided when her late husband Lord Brittan was falsely accused of child abuse as part of Operation Midland, previously told the Home Affairs Select Committee that public figures caught up in the scandal had still not received justice.

A Home Office spokesperson previously said: “The appointment of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service is a formal process which will be confirmed in the proper way.”

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