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Cressida Dick named as new Met Commissioner

Mayor of London hails distinguished career of first female boss of force
Published - 22/02/2017 By - Ian Weinfass and Press Association

Cressida Dick has been named as the new Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

She becomes the first ever woman to hold the post, which is also the most senior policing position in England and Wales.

She first joined the Met in 1983, where she became the first woman to reach the post of Assistant Commissioner in 2009.

Ms Dick was responsible for Specialist Operations, including counter-terrorism, where she oversaw the operation in which innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, before being moved to cover Specialist Crime and Operations.

A jury cleared her of blame over Mr de Menezes' death.

The 56-year-old has been working in a secretive role in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office since leaving the force in 2014.

She said she was "thrilled and humbled" by the appointment.

She added: "This is a great responsibility and an amazing opportunity. 

"I'm looking forward immensely to protecting and serving the people of London and working again with the fabulous women and men of the Met.

"Thank you so much to everyone who has taught me and supported me along the way."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan praised the officer.

He said: “Cressida Dick will be the first female Commissioner of the Met in its 187-year history, and the most powerful police officer in the land.

"She has already had a long and distinguished career, and her experience and ability has shone throughout this process.

"On behalf of all Londoners, I warmly welcome Cressida to the role and I very much look forward to working with her to keep our capital safe and protected.

“This is a historic day for London and a proud day for me as Mayor.

"The Metropolitan Police do an incredible job, working hard with enormous dedication every single day to keep Londoners safe, so for me it was absolutely essential that we found the best possible person to take the Met forward over the coming years and I am confident that we have succeeded.”

AC Dick undertook command roles in the Met’s response to 9/11, the Tsunami, after the 2005 bombings, and many other major incidents.

Three other senior figures were contenders for the job - Mark Rowley, an assistant commissioner at the Met; Sara Thornton, the chairman of the National Police Chiefs' Council; and Stephen Kavanagh, the chief constable of Essex Police.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "Cressida Dick is an exceptional leader, and has a clear vision for the future of the Metropolitan Police and an understanding of the diverse range of communities it serves.

"She now takes on one of the most demanding, high-profile and important jobs in UK policing, against the backdrop of a heightened terror alert and evolving threats from fraud and cyber crime.

"The challenges ahead include protecting the most vulnerable, including victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

"Cressida's skills and insight will ensure the Metropolitan Police adapt to the changing patterns of crime in the 21st century and continue to keep communities safe across London and the UK."

Profile

Born and brought up in Oxford, Cressida Dick was educated at the city's university, graduating from Balliol College.

She worked briefly in accountancy before joining the Met in 1983.

Ms Dick served as a constable, sergeant and inspector in central south-west and south-east London.

In 1995 she transferred to Thames Valley Police as Superintendent Operations at Oxford and subsequently spent three years as Area Commander at Oxford.

She took a career break to study for a Master's degree in criminology at Cambridge University, before returning to the Met as a commander in June 2001.

She was thrust into the public eye in 2005 after she was in charge of the operation that led to the fatal shooting of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, who was wrongly identified as a potential suicide bomber.

A jury later cleared Ms Dick of any blame in his death.

In February 2007 she was promoted to Deputy Assistant Commissioner, before becoming the country's most senior female officer in 2009 when she was made the Met's first Assistant Commissioner.

She was the national lead for counter-terrorism for three years, and also led the security operations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and 2012 Olympics.

Her work at the Met also included leading the re-investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence and the police response to the killing of Lee Rigby.

Ms Dick, who is seen as popular with the rank-and-file, left Scotland Yard in January 2015 to become a director general at the Foreign Office.

When her departure was announced, Sir Bernard described her as "a role model for women across the service".

Ms Dick was awarded the Queen's Police Medal for services to policing in 2010 and a CBE in 2015.

 

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