The scramble to replace Cressida Dick after her shock resignation

The scramble to replace Cressida Dick after her shock resignation

February 11, 2022

The scramble to replace Cressida Dick after she blindsided Sadiq Khan and Priti Patel by resigning before she was sacked: War breaks out between Mayor and Home Office over disastrous handling as family blasts outgoing commissioner’s non apology to victims

  • Under-fire Dame Cressida Dick last night finally resigned as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police
  • Scotland Yard chief has presided over a litany of scandals from Sarah Everard killing to VIP abuse probe 
  • She had just hours earlier insisted that she had ‘no intention of going’ after row with Sadiq Khan
  • The Met Police force has recently come under criticism for alleged racism and sexism within its ranks 

So who could be next to take over the top job at Scotland Yard? 

Martin Hewitt

One of the most high-profile police officers in the country after running the National Police Chiefs’ Council throughout the Covid crisis.

His appearance at several Downing Street briefings during lockdowns means he is more recognisable than most other top cops.

But Mr Hewitt has made a number of high-profile interventions in politics.

Amid fury last year at officers being hit by a pay freeze, Mr Hewitt said that many officers believed the decision was ‘unfair’ and they felt ‘undervalued’ after their efforts during Covid.

He began his policing career with Kent Police in 1993 and has experience in a senior role at the Metropolitan Police – where he was an assistant commissioner for five years.

Andy Cooke

A former head of Merseyside Police now serving as one of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary.

A return to frontline policing is not impossible, however.

While in Liverpool, Mr Cooke sparked anger when he said even violent criminals are ‘not inherently bad people’ and he’d rather pump billions into cutting poverty than upholding the law.

But he also oversaw the jailing of dozens of multi-millionaire drug lords, gained a reputation for tough policing and for being a keen user of stop-and-search powers.

At the height of the pandemic he condemned the ‘sneering culture’ against people who tip off police about coronavirus rule-breakers.

He called on Britons to do their ‘civic duty’ and report restriction-flouting neighbours.

He also warned his own officers they could face misconduct charges if they posted social media lockdown videos of themselves dancing, saying it was ‘wholly unprofessional’.

Simon Byrne

Chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) since 2019 and – crucially – has held senior roles at the Metropolitan Police.

But his time as chief constable of another force – Cheshire – ended in controversy after he was accused of bullying and humiliating staff.

A misconduct hearing was told he had a reputation for being like Darth Vader and treated junior officers and staff like ‘roadkill’.

Mr Byrne was cleared of all allegations of misconduct, with the tribunal concluding that much of what was claimed was either exaggerated or most likely didn’t happen.

During his time at Cheshire, Mr Byrne revealed he had considered breaking employment law in order to hire more officers from ethnic minorities.

He told the BBC in 2017 the law should be changed in England ‘for a certain period of time’ to allow the hiring of minority candidates to speed up, to ensure that ‘for every white officer, we recruit one black officer’.

Under current equality rules employers cannot employ a job applicant because of characteristics like race, sexual orientation or gender, if other candidates are better qualified.

At the PSNI Mr Byrne, now 58, attracted controversy for suggesting the children of paramilitaries could be taken into care.

Neil Basu

Previously tipped for the Metropolitan Police’s top job five years ago when he lost out to Dame Cressida.

But his prospects could be damaged by accusations of meddling in politics in 2019, when he threatened to prosecute journalists for publishing leaked cables from Britain’s ambassador to the U.S., Sir Kim Darroch.

Former Tory cabinet minister David Davis said the intervention ‘strayed well beyond his brief’, and represented an attack on the free Press.

Mr Basu has also been criticised for some of his operational decisions, such as when he headed inquiries into phone hacking, computer hacking and alleged payments to police officers by newspapers. 

Mr Basu has spent his whole career at Scotland Yard. This is felt to count against him in terms of his breadth of experience and because the force has been widely-criticised for its cultures after recent scandals.

The 54-year-old is the most senior serving British officer of Asian heritage. 

Sir Mark Rowley

A familiar figure after leading the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism operations for four years.

Although he resigned from the police in 2018, Sir Mark is still only 58 and sources believe he could be tempted back by the biggest job in British policing.

Served as chief constable of Surrey for three years to 2011, when he joined the Met as an assistant commissioner.

Dame Lynne Owens

Widely admired and was seen as the natural successor to the Yard top job until she retired on health grounds last autumn.

Dame Lynne led the National Crime Agency – dubbed ‘Britain’s FBI’ – from 2016 until last October.

Seen as a safe pair of hands, and known to be a favourite officer of Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Dame Lynne, 53, has bravely written on social media of her mastectomy, radiotherapy and ongoing recovery. Whether she can be tempted back to such a high-pressure job will be a purely personal choice.

Matt Jukes

Best-known for tackling Rotherham grooming gangs while borough commander in the Yorkshire town from 2006 to 2010.

Graduated with a degree in mathematics from St Peter’s College, Oxford, in 1992, he joined the police three years later. He became a detective and rose through the ranks.

He was appointed chief constable of South Wales Police in 2018.

Mr Jukes moved to the Metropolitan Police in 2020 and – last November – was promoted to assistant commissioner of specialist operations.

However, his relatively short time in a top job at Scotland Yard may put him at a disadvantage.

Sir Hugh Orde

The 64-year-old retired officer was described as a ‘policeman’s policeman’ by his team in Northern Ireland, where he was chief constable.

Orde joined the Met in 1977 and was posted to south London when he was made a sergeant in his early 20s. 

In the 1990s, he developed the force’s race relations training. He then developed Operation Trident, the Met’s successful initiative to take guns of the streets. He then served as chief constable of Northern Ireland between 2002 and 2009.

After losing out to Sir Paul Stephenson for the Met’s top job in 2009, he was appointed president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, before retiring.

Describing his affinity with Scotland Yard he said: ‘I’ve always loved the Met. In policing, it’s one of the biggest challenges in the world’.

The new Commissioner of the Met must show the force ‘tough love’ after Dame Cressida Dick’s disastrous tenure in charge of Scotland Yard and her failure to change its racist, sexist and homophobic culture, her past and present colleagues declared today.

The outgoing Commissioner said she had ‘no choice’ but to resign after London Mayor Sadiq Khan told her he no longer had any confidence in her.

Home Secretary Priti Patel was caught off guard by the decision, learning of it only when Dame Cressida rang her to say she had stood down – sparking a bitter row between City Hall and the Home Office.

She had faced mounting pressure amid a series of scandals, including the murder of Sarah Everard by one of her officers, the aftermath of the Operation Midland VIP abuse inquiry and a report that branded her force ‘institutionally corrupt’. 

Most recently there were the racist, misogynist and homophobic messages exchanged by officers at Charing Cross police station. 

Describing her near five-year tenure one senior colleague said: ‘She was bereft of strategy, bereft of vision and finally events have overtaken her’. 

Ricky Waumsley, whose 21-year-old partner Daniel Whitworth was murdered by Grindr serial killer Stephen Port in Barking, east London, said his first thought when he heard the news was ‘about time’ and that he hoped more resignations would follow.

The commissioner apologised for past mistakes when she resigned last night, but Mr Waumsley rejected it.  

He said added: ‘She had clung on to that position so tight when, all around her, the officers she was in charge of have been racist, homophobic and sexist.’

Former Met Commander Dal Babu has accused Dame Cressida of ‘failing to put her house in order’.

He said: ‘She’s had five years to get this right. There has been a catalogue of short-comings. After five years we are in the same position as we were when I was in the Met where racism, sexism and homophobia was prevalent.

‘We need to make sure were are in a position to have a leader who is able to show tough love to the Met and Cressida just wasn’t able to do that’.   

Another former colleague told the Telegraph: ‘She has had multiple flesh wounds and strikes but because she is personable, resilient, presents well in the corridors of power and is liked by her frontline officers, she survived.

‘There is a myth about Cressida’s popularity within the Met. She is not a great communicator within the organisation. A lot of people within the Met were fed up with the lack of clarity and direction’. 

Dame Cressida’s bombshell resignation has sparked a war of words between Sadiq Khan and Priti Patel amid allegations that the Mayor of London failed to warn the Home Secretary or the Queen he was going to get rid of the Scotland Yard chief.

The beleaguered Met chief quit Britain’s biggest police force after losing Mr Khan’s support over her plan to implement major reforms to Scotland Yard following a string of scandals and accusations of a ‘toxic’ working culture.  

But there is a huge row between City Hall and Whitehall over the Mayor of London’s sudden decision to pull the plug – three weeks after Dame Cressida claimed Mr Khan had said he had ‘total confidence’ in her. 

It is understood Dame Cressida was called to a meeting with the Mayor at 4.30pm on Thursday over the reforms but declined to attend and offered her resignation instead, catching the Home Office by surprise. 

Mr Khan did not inform the Home Secretary of his intention to request a meeting with the commissioner, it is understood.

According to Home Office sources, Ms Patel was not impressed by this and thought it was ‘rude and unprofessional’.

An insider claimed: ‘We got no notice. The Home Secretary found out when the commissioner rang to say she was resigning. It is not helpful, but I’m afraid we have a political mayor playing politics with the police. Did he even tell the Palace? The commissioner is appointed by the Queen. 

‘It could be quite destabilising. How does this square with the fact that just last year he was arguing she should be given a three-year contract extension? The mayor owes the people of London an explanation.’ 

The Home Secretary will oversee the appointment of the new commissioner and more details on how she will set about searching for a replacement are expected to be confirmed in due course. She has final decision on the next appointment, although the process requires her to consult Mr Khan as Mayor, who said he would be ‘working closely’ with the Home Secretary to find a successor.

Labour sources also said Sir Keir Starmer had also not been informed of Dame Cressida’s departure in advance, the Telegraph reported. 

Lord Greenhalgh, a Home Office minister who worked with Mr Johnson at City Hall, tweeted: ‘Cannot believe how badly Mayor Sadiq Khan has managed his relationship with the Metropolitan Police and their Cmr Cressida Dick who has just resigned. This Mayor of London has no idea how to lead or to manage. Shockingly bad.’

While former commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson accused Mr Khan of ‘political opportunism’ and ‘grandstanding’.

‘For Sadiq Khan to go public in the way he did smacked of a politician putting up a smokescreen rather than having an appropriate and sensible conversation in private to lead to a dignified outcome,’ he said, adding: ‘It appeared to be political opportunism and grandstanding by Sadiq Khan. I think that is very sad.’

Dame Cressida has faced a series of scandals during her time leading the Met — most recently concerning violently racist, misogynist and homophobic messages exchanged by officers based at Charing Cross police station that were published by a watchdog.

There was also fury over the rape and murder of Sarah Everard by depraved cop Wayne Couzens, as well as the force’s heavy-handed actions following her death in tackling a Clapham Common vigil held in her memory during Covid restrictions, and issuing clumsy advice telling women in trouble to flag down a passing bus that later had to be retracted.

Dame Cressida’s critics praised her resignation last night, calling it ‘long overdue’. 

Former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor, whose house was raided by officers from the Met’s failed Operation Midland launched in reaction to false allegations by jailed fantasist Carl Beech about a murderous VIP paedophile ring, said he was delighted by the news.

‘It is now time to clean the Augean stables so that a full inquiry can be conducted on all her personal mistakes,’ he said. 

Harriet Wistrich, director of the Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ) charity, said: ‘There were far too many stories of officers accused of violence and abuse still in their jobs and of whistle-blowers victimised instead of listened too.

‘Cressida Dick’s response to these series of stories has been wholly inadequate and her description of Wayne Couzens as a ‘wrong un’ meaningless next to the mounting evidence of multiple allegations of abuse and policing failures to tackle violence against women and racism.’

Doubling-down on her record as commissioner last night, Dame Cressida said: ‘Undertaking this role as a servant of the people of London and the UK has been the greatest honour and privilege of my life. Throughout my career I have sought to protect the people of this wonderful thriving and diverse city. 

‘There have been many tough calls. And many challenges. The 2017 terrorist attacks, the Grenfell fire, difficult protests, the pandemic, the murder of serving officers. I’m incredibly proud of my team and all they have achieved.

‘Since day one tackling violence in all its forms has been my number one priority. We continue to see teenagers murdered on our streets and every attack is a tragedy.

‘But we are delivering and overall violence is down. The Met is bucking the national trend. We are achieving remarkable results in key areas of violence, with thousands of fewer victims of knife crime, robbery and other attacks.

‘I leave a Met that is growing and will soon record the largest ever number of officers. London is becoming safer. These great people include more women than ever in every rank and role and an increasing number from a broad range of ethnic backgrounds that truly reflect the diversity of London.

‘This Met is looking to the future and is ready for threats to come. Officers are better equipped and better informed as we take advantage of mobile and other technologies and forensic capabilities, and introduce better uniform and safety equipment.

‘We are delivering enormous transformational change, improving our systems and trialling innovative and state-of-the-art technology including live facial recognition and faster ways to capture and examine digital information.

Beleaguered Dame Cressida Dick has finally resigned as Metropolitan Police Commissioner after presiding over a litany of controversies as Scotland Yard chief

July 22, 2005: Jean Charles de Menezes is shot dead on a train at Stockwell Underground station in South London.

The shooting happened when counter-terrorism officers mistook the innocent electrician for one of the terrorists behind an attack on the capital a day earlier.

Mr de Menezes, a Brazilian working in the capital, was blasted in the head seven times by police at Stockwell station after being followed by officers from his home nearby. 

Mr de Menezes’s family led a long campaign calling for police officers to be prosecuted for the shooting and criticising Scotland Yard for its handling of the operation, which was led at the time by Dame Cressida.

Dame Cressida was cleared of all blame by later inquiries, but Mr de Menezes’ family expressed ‘serious concerns’ when she was appointed Met Commissioner in 2017.

The top policewoman told the Mail in 2018: ‘It was an appalling thing – an innocent man killed by police. Me in charge. Awful for the family and I was properly held to account. We learned every lesson that was to be learned’.

April 2017: Appointed as first female Metropolitan Police commissioner with a brief to modernise the force and keep it out of the headlines.

April 2019: Extinction Rebellion protesters bring London to a standstill over several days with the Met powerless to prevent the chaos. Dame Cressida says the numbers involved were far greater than expected and used new tactics but she admits police should have responded quicker.

September 2019: Her role in setting up of shambolic probe into alleged VIP child sex abuse and murder based on testimony from the fantasist Carl Beech (right) is revealed but she declines to answer questions.

2020: Official report into Operation Midland said Met was more interested in covering up mistakes than learning from them.

February 2021: Lady Brittan condemns the culture of ‘cover up and flick away’ in the Met and the lack of a moral compass among senior officers.

  • The same month a freedom of information request reveals an extraordinary spin campaign to ensure Dame Cressida was not ‘pulled into’ the scandal over the Carl Beech debacle.

March: Criticised for Met handling of a vigil for Sarah Everard, where officers arrested four attendees. Details would later emerge about how her killer, Wayne Couzens (right), used his warrant card to trick her into getting into his car. 

  • In the first six months of the year, London was on course for its worst year for teenage deaths – 30 – with knives being responsible for 19 out of the 22 killed so far. The youngest was 14-year-old Fares Matou, cut down with a Samurai sword. Dame Cressida had told LBC radio in May her top priority was tackling violent crime.

June: A £20million report into the Daniel Morgan murder brands the Met ‘institutionally corrupt’ and accuses her of trying to block the inquiry. Dame Cressida rejects its findings. Mr Morgan is pictured below. 

July: Police watchdog reveals three Met officers being probed over alleged racism and dishonesty.

  • The same month the Yard boss is at the centre of another storm after it emerged she was secretly referred to the police watchdog over comments she made about the stop and search of Team GB sprinter Bianca Williams. Dame Cressida is accused of pre-empting the outcome of an independent investigation.
  • Also in July she finds herself under fire over her woeful security operation at the Euro 2020 final at Wembley where fans without tickets stormed the stadium and others used stolen steward vests and ID lanyards to gain access.

August Dame Cressida facing a potential misconduct probe over her open support for Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Horne who could stand trial over alleged data breaches.

December: Two police officers who took pictures of the bodies of murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman (right) were jailed for two years and nine months each.

Pc Deniz Jaffer and Pc Jamie Lewis were assigned to guard the scene overnight after Ms Henry, 46, and Ms Smallman, 27, were found dead in bushes in Fryent Country Park, Wembley, north-west London. Instead, they breached the cordon to take photographs of the bodies, which were then shared with colleagues and members of the public on WhatsApp. 

 

December: Dame Cressida apologises to the family of a victim of serial killer Stephen Port (right). Officers missed several chances to catch him after he murdered Anthony Walgate in 2014. 

Dame Cressida – who was not commissioner at the time of the murder – told Mr Walgate’s mother: ‘I am sorry, both personally and on behalf of The Met — had police listened to what you said, things would have turned out a lot differently’.’

January 2022: She faces a barrage of fresh criticism for seeking to ‘muzzle’ Sue Gray’s Partygate report by asking her to make only ‘minimal’ references to parties the Met were investigating. 

February 2022: Details of messages exchanged by officers at Charing Cross Police Station, which included multiple references to rape, violence against women, racist and homophobic abuse, are unveiled in a watchdog report.

‘Our counter terrorism capability is world leading. Last year I was extremely proud to see the first phase of the Counter Terrorism Operations Centre bringing all agencies together in one place as we adapt to the evolving threat.

‘This is the Met where every hour of every day our people perform heroic acts to protect the public. We are more accountable, more transparent and more open than ever – with deeper links to our communities.

‘The murder of Sarah Everard and many other awful cases recently have, I know, damaged confidence in this fantastic police service. There is much to do – and I know that the Met has turned its full attention to rebuilding public trust and confidence. For that reason I am very optimistic about the future for the Met and for London.

‘Thank you to everyone in the Met and those who work with us for the extraordinary efforts you make each and every day. The public depend on you, for your professionalism, courage, compassion and integrity. You make a huge difference to people’s lives every day. I salute you.’  

Paying tribute to the Commissioner, the Prime Minister tweeted: ‘Dame Cressida has served her country with great dedication and distinction over many decades. I thank her for her role protecting the public and making our streets safer.’  

Dame Cressida announced she was stepping down from the job on Thursday just hours after insisting she had no intention of going during an interview with the BBC. 

Miss Patel has blamed ‘failures of leadership’ for the rotten culture at the Met, including by the commissioner herself. 

Dame Cressida began her career in London as a constable before holding a variety of posts on her way to becoming Scotland Yard’s first female chief. However, her leadership of the force came under mounting public scrutiny following a number of controversies.

Perhaps the most damaging blot on her card is that of the shambolic Operation Midland — the Met’s £1milliion investigation into spurious VIP child sex abuse allegations.

Innocent men, including the late Lord Brittan and Mr Proctor, were pursued by the force in a probe sanctioned in 2014 while Dame Cressida was an assistant commissioner. The Met’s star witness Carl ‘Nick’ Beech was later revealed to be a serial liar and was jailed after police investigating his claims discovered his deceit.  

On Dame Cressida’s watch, ticketless football hooligans broke past Wembley’s security barriers during the Euros last year and stormed the grounds ahead of England’s clash with Italy. The Met was accused of not having enough officers on duty to create a ‘ring of steel’ around he venue to hold back the frenzied England supporters.

Dame Cressida has also faced questions about why Miss Everard’s evil attacker Couzens was not arrested before he kidnapped, raped and murdered the 33-year-old marketing manager for flashing offences previously reported to the police. 

And last summer, the force was branded ‘institutionally corrupt’ by an independent panel investigating police inquiries into the unsolved murder in the 1980s of private detective Daniel Morgan. 

The chairwoman of the London Assembly police and crime committee said there was a ‘big question mark’ over what ‘on notice’ meant following comments made by Mayor Sadiq Khan about Dame Cressida’s future at the Met before she left her post.

‘We did a motion at the Assembly yesterday and that was unanimous, cross-party, (on) what exactly ‘on notice’ meant,’ Susan Hall told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4.

She also said she agreed that Dame Cressida’s departure makes Londoners less safe due to all of the ‘turmoil’ that follows.

She said: ‘99% of officers are very good, brave officers, and they’ve been absolutely rocked by the latest IOPC reports into misogyny.

‘They need confidence, they need support, and to have done this in this way, I think Sadiq Khan is completely wrong.

‘It will leave a void at the top as opposed to a properly managed handover, which is no way to run a service like this, no way to the Metropolitan Police.’

Susan Hall said ‘policing work will continue’ – including the investigation of allegations of lockdown parties at Downing Street – despite the shake-up at the Met.

The chairwoman of the London Assembly police and crime committee told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4: ‘She (Dame Cressida Dick) wouldn’t have been dealing with it anyway; all the work that is in progress will continue.

‘What needs to happen now is Sadiq Khan needs to really make sure that we get another commissioner in place as soon as possible.’

When questioned if the search for a successor is complicated due the Prime Minister being under investigation, Ms Hall said: ‘It (the investigation) will continue. She personally doesn’t deal with these things as you know, (it’s) other detectives.

‘Everything that’s going on in the police service will continue.’

Asked if bringing in a different body rather than the Met to deal with terrorist crimes was on her agenda, Ms Hall said: ‘No, it isn’t and actually, one has to commend the work that’s done in our national counter-terrorism capacity.

‘We’re doing wonderful work there, which obviously nobody gets to know about for obvious reasons. Priti Patel, I believe, is very happy with that part of the work.’

The police investigation into allegations of Downing Street coronavirus rule-breaking parties will ‘not be affected’ by the change of Met chief, according to a UK Government minister. 

A Government minister has said it was ‘regrettable’ that the relationship between Metropolitan Police Commissioner and London Mayor Sadiq Khan had ‘broken down’, with Dame Cressida Dick forced out on Thursday.

Transport minister Robert Courts told Sky News: ‘I think it is a little bit of a shame things have happened the way they have.

‘It appears clearly that the relationship was broken down between the mayor and of course Dame Cressida.

‘That is a shame, but I think what we’ve got to do now is focus on the future and to start to address all of the issues that will cause the people of London concern.’ 

Dame Cressida left after the Mayor of London called her in to pull the plug.

In a statement, Mr Khan said: ‘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. 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.

‘I would like to thank Dame Cressida Dick for her 40 years of dedicated public service, with the vast majority spent at the Met where she was the first woman to become Commissioner. In particular, I commend her for the recent work in helping us to bring down violent crime in London — although of course there is more to do.  

The under-fire public figure had earlier insisted she had ‘no intention of going’, striking a defiant tone following London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s decision to put her ‘on notice’ with just ‘days and weeks’ to enact major changes

Dame Cressida was also slammed by the families of victims of VIP paedophile ring fantasist Carl Beech, whose spurious allegations were investigated by police – ruining the lives and reputations of those he accused  

The Metropolitan Police commissioner faced calls for her resignation earlier this year after women were arrested at a vigil that was held in memory of Miss Everard


The news comes a week after Mr Khan said he was ‘not satisfied’ with the Met’s Commissioner’s response to calls for change following a series of scandals including the murder of Sarah Everard by serving officer Wayne Couzens. Right: This is a MailOnline mock-up of WhatsApp conversations that were published in the IOPC report. Warning: Graphic language

Cressida Dick’s resignation statement 

It is with huge sadness that following contact with the Mayor of London today, 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.

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.

Throughout my career I have sought to protect the people of this wonderful thriving and diverse city.

There have been many tough calls. And many challenges. The 2017 terrorist attacks, the Grenfell fire, difficult protests, the pandemic, the murder of serving officers.

I’m incredibly proud of my team and all they have achieved. Since day one tackling violence in all its forms has been my number one priority. We continue to see teenagers murdered on our streets and every attack is a tragedy.

But we are delivering and overall violence is down. The Met is bucking the national trend. We are achieving remarkable results in key areas of violence, with thousands of fewer victims of knife crime, robbery and other attacks.

I leave a Met that is growing and will soon record the largest ever number of officers. London is becoming safer. These great people include more women than ever in every rank and role and an increasing number from a broad range of ethnic backgrounds that truly reflect the diversity of London.

This Met is looking to the future and is ready for threats to come. Officers are better equipped and better informed as we take advantage of mobile and other technologies and forensic capabilities, and introduce better uniform and safety equipment.

We are delivering enormous transformational change, improving our systems and trialling innovative and state-of-the-art technology including live facial recognition and faster ways to capture and examine digital information.

Our counter terrorism capability is world leading. Last year I was extremely proud to see the first phase of the Counter Terrorism Operations Centre bringing all agencies together in one place as we adapt to the evolving threat.

This is the Met where every hour of every day our people perform heroic acts to protect the public. We are more accountable, more transparent and more open than ever – with deeper links to our communities.

The murder of Sarah Everard and many other awful cases recently have, I know, damaged confidence in this fantastic police service. There is much to do – and I know that the Met has turned its full attention to rebuilding public trust and confidence. For that reason I am very optimistic about the future for the Met and for London.

Thank you to everyone in the Met and those who work with us for the extraordinary efforts you make each and every day. The public depend on you, for your professionalism, courage, compassion and integrity. You make a huge difference to people’s lives every day. I salute you.

‘I want to put on the record again that there are thousands of incredibly brave and decent police officers at the Met who go above and beyond every day to help keep us safe, and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

‘I will now work closely with the Home Secretary on the appointment of a new Commissioner so that we can move quickly to restore trust in the capital’s police service while keeping London safe.’

Miss Patel said: ‘I’d like to thank Dame Cressida for the nearly four decades of her life that she has devoted to serving the public, latterly as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

‘She would be the first to say that she has held the role during challenging times; yet for nearly five years she has undertaken her duties with a steadfast dedication to protecting our capital city and its people, including during the unprecedented period of the pandemic.

‘Leading the Met has also involved driving our national counter terrorism capability at a time of multiple threats while, as the first woman to hold the post, she has exemplified the increasingly diverse nature of our police and demonstrated that all can aspire to hold leadership roles in policing in this country today.’

Reacting to her resignation, Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said Dame Cressida has been treated in a ‘wholly unfair’ way.

‘We are deeply saddened by the resignation of our commissioner,’ he said.

‘She was much loved across the rank and file of the Metropolitan Police Service. We feel the way she has been treated is wholly unfair and we did believe that she was the person who could take us through this and bring us out the other side.’

Ex-Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Roberts told LBC: ‘I’m shocked and saddened. I think it’s an absolute disgrace what seems to have happened.

‘I’m afraid this is a case of politicians wanting a quick fix for something that needs fixing but can’t be fixed quickly.

‘Cressida [Dick] seems to be taking the blame for a situation which politicians needed to have solved and should have solved by getting rid of the Prime Minister.’

Sir Ed said in a statement: ‘Boris Johnson must have no role in choosing Cressida Dick’s successor to lead the Met. A man under criminal investigation by the Met should not be able to choose who’s in charge of it.

‘I would like to thank Cressida Dick for her years of dedicated police service, but a change of leadership in the Met is long overdue.

‘Met police officers who work incredibly hard and risk their lives to keep us safe deserve better. They urgently need new leadership that will change the culture and rebuild the public trust and confidence that officers need to do their jobs and keep us all safe.

‘No one handpicked by Boris Johnson would have the credibility needed for this big and important task. There must be no interference from Number 10 in the appointment and Boris Johnson should publicly recuse himself from this decision.’

As Scotland Yard chief, Dame Cressida has managed to find a way to ride-out the controversies which have mounted up across her 40-year career — in turn winning praise for her resilience and even earning the nickname ‘Comeback Cressida’ in some circles.

An independent panel on the death of private investigator Daniel Morgan found that the Met had prioritised its reputation over finding Mr Morgan’s killer — sparking allegations of institutional corruption in Scotland Yard.

‘It’s about time’: Partner of Stephen Port’s youngest victim welcomes Cressida Dick’s resignation and calls it a ‘small justice for victims’ of the serial killer 

Ricky Waumsley (pictured left), whose 21-year-old partner Daniel Whitworth (right) was murdered by Stephen Port in Barking, east London, said his first thought when he heard the news was ‘about time’ and that he hoped more resignations would follow

The partner of Stephen Port’s youngest victim has welcomed Dame Cressida Dick’s resignation and called it a ‘small justice for the victims’ of the serial killer.  

Dame Cressida quit as Metropolitan Police Commissioner last night after losing the support of London Mayor Sadiq Khan over her plan to reform the force following a string of scandals and accusations of a toxic working culture.

Ricky Waumsley, whose 21-year-old partner Daniel Whitworth was murdered by Port in Barking, east London, said his first thought when he heard the news was ‘about time’ and that he hoped more resignations would follow.

He added: ‘She had clung on to that position so tight when, all around her, the officers she was in charge of have been racist, homophobic and sexist.’

Mr Waumsley had called for her to quit in December after an inquest jury found police failures had likely contributed to the deaths of Mr Whitworth and those of two more of Port’s victims.

Port, known as the Grindr killer, drugged, raped and killed four men between June 2014 and September 2015, and sexually assaulted more than a dozen others.

The inquests into the four deaths revealed that officers failed to carry out basic evidence gathering such as examining Port’s laptop, testing DNA on bedsheets on which two of the bodies were found, and checking the veracity of a fake suicide note found with Mr Whitworth’s body.

Seventeen officers were investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), and nine were found to have performance failings.

None of the nine were disciplined or lost their jobs, and five had been promoted.

 

In its bombshell report, the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel concluded forms of police corruption had hampered both the murder inquiry, and its own work to investigate the reasons why the case was never solved. Singling out Dame Cressida for blame, the report said she had not given a ‘reasonable explanation’ for blocking access to computer data and delaying the release of files, the last of which were provided only in March.

A Home Office source said there were ‘serious concerns with the Met’s leadership and how it responded to failings’ — although Miss Patel and Boris Johnson later expressed confidence in Dame Cressida.

The commissioner apologised for past mistakes, saying: ‘It is a matter of great regret that no one has been brought to justice and that our mistakes have compounded the pain suffered by Daniel’s family. For that I apologise again now.

‘I have been personally determined that the Met provided the panel with the fullest level of co-operation in an open and transparent manner, with complete integrity at all times.’

But amid calls for her resignation at the time, Dame Cressida said: ‘I don’t believe we are institutionally corrupt. No, I don’t accept that. I have the deepest feelings for Daniel Morgan’s family. They have shown extraordinary grit and determination and courage.

‘Yesterday, I apologised again to them for our failings and the fact that we have not brought anybody to justice despite six investigations and countless other reviews and pieces of work.’

She added: ‘And for the fact that, in so doing and along the way, we have clearly, we the Met, my force, of which I’m very proud to be the Commissioner, we have caused them extra anguish. But I don’t accept that we are institutionally corrupt, no.’ 

The independent panel led by Baroness Nuala O’Loan found that the Met had put protecting its own reputation above finding Mr Morgan’s killer. 

The panel’s report said: ‘Concealing or denying failings, for the sake of the organisation’s public image, is dishonesty on the part of the organisation for reputational benefit and constitutes a form of institutional corruption.’

Dame Cressida also came under the spotlight after it emerged that bosses at Scotland Yard missed three crucial clues about killer cop Couzens that could have seen him kicked out of the force before he murdered Miss Everard.

Couzens, who kidnapped, raped and murdered the marketing executive while she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham, was reported to bosses for allegedly slapping a female colleague’s bottom at Bromley police station in 2018 — just weeks after he joined the force.

Shortly after starting at Bromley in South London, the married killer allegedly stopped a female motorist and said her tax and insurance were out of date before making a note of her address so he could later pull up outside her house and leer at her. 

Couzens, whose former colleagues at the Civil Nuclear Constabulary nicknamed him ‘The Rapist’ because of how he is said to have made female colleagues uneasy, is also accused of parking his patrol car by schools so he could watch mothers and sixth-formers.

The Met faced criticism following violence at Wembley Stadium at the final of the Euro 2020 Championships

File photo dated 02/11/20 of former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

File photo dated 02/11/20 of The Duke of Cambridge with Dame Cressida during a visit to Croydon Custody Centre

File photo dated 02/11/20 of former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, leaving Downing Street

Tributes to Cressida Dick: London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Home Secretary Priti Patel 

SADIQ KHAN

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.

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.

I would like to thank Dame Cressida Dick for her 40 years of dedicated public service, with the vast majority spent at the Met where she was the first woman to become Commissioner. In particular, I commend her for the recent work in helping us to bring down violent crime in London – although of course there is more to do.

I want to put on the record again that there are thousands of incredibly brave and decent police officers at the Met who go above and beyond every day to help keep us safe, and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

I will now work closely with the Home Secretary on the appointment of a new Commissioner so that we can move quickly to restore trust in the capital’s police service while keeping London safe.

PRITI PATEL

I’d like to thank Dame Cressida for the nearly four decades of her life that she has devoted to serving the public, latterly as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

She would be the first to say that she has held the role during challenging times; yet for nearly five years she has undertaken her duties with a steadfast dedication to protecting our capital city and its people, including during the unprecedented period of the pandemic.

Leading the Met has also involved driving our national counter terrorism capability at a time of multiple threats while, as the first woman to hold the post, she has exemplified the increasingly diverse nature of our police and demonstrated that all can aspire to hold leadership roles in policing in this country today.

BORIS JOHNSON 

Dame Cressida has served her country with great dedication and distinction over many decades. I thank her for her role protecting the public and making our streets safer. 

YVETTE COOPER

The Mayor of London is right to insist on reforms to the Metropolitan Police and he has shown leadership in addressing this.

I thank Cressida Dick for her many years of public service including her work on counter-terrorism and tackling violence in the capital.

Reforms are needed to rebuild public confidence in the Metropolitan Police after recent cases.

Every day the police do incredibly important work, in London and across the country to keep us all safe and trust in that good work must not be undermined by cultural failures or delays in tackling officers who abuse their positions.

This isn’t just an issue for London – the Home Secretary must support reforms to raise standards across the country to support the essential work the police do.

Mr Khan put Dame Cressida ‘on notice’ last week following the exposure of sickening messages about rape, ‘killing black children’, and ‘f****** gays’. 

He said anyone ‘who has views or believes that it’s acceptable to behave in a way that’s racist, sexist, homophobic, in a discriminatory manner, does not belong in the police service’.

Fourteen officers were investigated by the watchdog, of whom two were found to have a case to answer for gross misconduct. One was sacked and another resigned before he would have been dismissed. Nine remain serving officers, while another is working as a contractor in a staff role.

Asked if all of those involved in the Charing Cross incident should be sacked, Mr Khan told Today: ‘I think Londoners can’t understand why nine of these 14 police officers are still serving. I’ve asked that question.’

He also told the programme: ‘And by the way, I only discovered last week that two of them have been promoted.’

One of the officers disciplined for their behaviour has since been promoted from the rank of constable to sergeant, it emerged last week. She was found to have committed misconduct for failing to report wrongdoing, yet the Met told the Guardian the promotion went ahead anyway, telling the paper that the officer ‘attended a misconduct meeting and was given management action/advice about reporting wrongdoing’.

Another officer, whose disturbing messages formed part of the inquiry, threatened to murder a female colleague while under investigation for sexually harassing her.

James McLoughlin-Goodchild, a PC at Charing Cross, threatened to stab the woman and two other officers if they came to arrest him during a phone call with a sergeant to discuss an upcoming gross misconduct hearing.

A trial heard he said: ‘I will kill them, I will murder them if I see them, I know where they live and what cars they drive. If they come to my home and arrest me they are going to get stabbed. I will not go to prison alive.’

The officer was found guilty of sending an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing communication after a trial at Hendon Magistrates Court in January 2019. He was handed a 12-month conditional discharge and an indefinite restraining order.

Meanwhile, new damning claims emerged last week about the behaviour of officers at Charing Cross, including allegations they slept with female suspects and called black colleagues ‘monkeys’.

A ‘toxic’ culture existed at the station dating back to 2006, said the former constable, who asked to be referred to by her first name, Liz.

The ex-officer said there was an ‘awful’ atmosphere at the station where men had sex with women in bathrooms, ‘mercilessly bullied’ a colleague and made ‘cruel and sexual comments’ about women in the street while senior leaders stayed silent.

She said her male colleagues were like ‘kids in a candy store’ given the station’s proximity to ‘pubs, bars and party culture’, with one sergeant bragging about seeing his favourite Russian escort at Spearmint Rhino.

The IOPC watchdog said it would look into the shocking allegations. An officer who gave only her first name, Liz, told LondonWorld she witnessed appalling behaviour by male cops after graduating from Hendon Police College in the mid-noughties.

She moved to another station in a different borough after two years and is now a writer living in Perth, Australia. She says she saw officers having sex down the station, caught a male cop in the act with someone he had arrested and she was victim to ‘countless propositioning from male colleagues’.

As the only woman in her team, she had to endure a night out at the Spearmint Rhino strip club where a sergeant bragged about having ‘his favourite Russian girl’.

On one occasion, she was sat in a carrier vehicle in Whitehall when all the male officers made lewd sexual comments about every woman that walked past.

Black officers were referred to as ‘monkeys’ and officers said ‘they better smile at night or we won’t see them’.

An autistic police community support officer was mercilessly bullied and ‘mindf***ed’ until he thought it was all part of him being ‘part of the team’, she claimed. She said she knew the behaviour was wrong but did not know who to turn to, fearing bosses would turn a blind eye and she would be ostracised by colleagues.

Cressida Dick’s ledger of failures: From the Met’s disastrous probe into fake VIP child sex abuse to Sarah Everard’s killing, the Daniel Morgan inquiry and ‘institutional racism, sexism and homophobia’

Dame Cressida Dick’s shock resignation last night marks the end of a controversial chapter in the history of the Metropolitan Police.

As Scotland Yard chief, Dame Cressida’s tenure was plagued by a series of scandals — from Sarah Everard’s killing by depraved cop Wayne Couzens, the Wembley security fiasco during the Euros and the force’s bungled probe into fake VIP sex abuse claims, to heavy-handed policing during the pandemic and allegations of racism, sexism, homophobia and ‘institutional corruption’.

Britain’s most senior police chief dramatically resigned from the Met Police after losing the support of London Mayor Sadiq Khan following the watchdog’s report into the behaviour of officers at the Charing Cross police station.

Though Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel paid tribute to Dame Cressida, her critics called her resignation ‘long overdue’ and said her departure would mark the beginning of proper reform at the force.

Here, MailOnline examines the many failings which have marked Dame Cressida’s card.

Dame Cressida Dick’s shock resignation marks the end of a controversial chapter in the history of the Metropolitan Police

OPERATION MIDLAND

The Metropolitan Police has been mired in controversy since it launched an astonishing investigation into false allegations of child sex abuse at the heart of Westminster.

Named Operation Midland, detectives probing claims made by serial liar Carl ‘Nick’ Beech conducted dawn raids at high-profile addresses including the homes of D-Day hero Lord Bramall, Lord Brittan and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor.

Beech falsely claimed that he and other boys were raped and tortured in the 1970s and 1980s and that one young boy was even murdered by members of a VIP paedophile ring. He is now serving an 18-year prison sentence for 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud.

Dame Cressida was also slammed by the families of victims of VIP paedophile ring fantasist Carl Beech, whose spurious allegations were investigated by police – ruining the lives and reputations of those he accused  

Scotland Yard was heavily criticised in an independent review of the case by former High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques. His findings recommended that ‘offences of attempting to pervert the course of justice be considered’ against the two complainants, and this should be carried out by another police force.

In September 2019, Dame Cressida’s role in setting up the shambolic probe into alleged VIP child sex abuse and murder was revealed, but she declines to answer questions.

Two years later, Lady Brittan condemns the culture of ‘cover up and flick away’ in the Met and the lack of a moral compass among senior officers.

The same month a freedom of information request revealed an extraordinary spin campaign to ensure Dame Cressida was not ‘pulled into’ the scandal over the Carl Beech debacle.

SARAH EVERARD

Britain was shocked by the murder of Sarah Everard at the hands of depraved cop Couzens as she walked across Clapham Common in March last year.

A court heard that Couzens staged a fake arrest of Miss Everard using Covid emergency powers, before raping and killing her.

Dame Cressida faced public fury after it emerged that Scotland Yard may have missed multiple opportunities to sack or prosecute Couzens.

Couzens was reported to bosses for allegedly slapping a female colleague’s bottom at Bromley police station in 2018 — just weeks after he joined the force.


The news comes a week after Mr Khan said he was ‘not satisfied’ with the Met’s Commissioner’s response to calls for change following a series of scandals including the murder of Sarah Everard by serving officer Wayne Couzens

The Metropolitan Police commissioner faced calls for her resignation earlier this year after women were arrested at a vigil that was held in memory of Miss Everard

Shortly after starting at Bromley in South London, the married killer allegedly stopped a female motorist and said her tax and insurance were out of date before making a note of her address so he could later pull up outside her house and leer at her.

Couzens, whose former colleagues at the Civil Nuclear Constabulary nicknamed him ‘The Rapist’ because of how he is said to have made female colleagues uneasy, is also accused of parking his patrol car by schools so he could watch mothers and sixth-formers.

Dame Cressida faced calls to resign after officers conducted a heavy-handed crackdown on a vigil held for Miss Everard at Clapham Common after the 33-year-old’s death.

At the time, she defended the force’s actions and dismissed ‘armchair critics’, raging: ‘What has happened makes me more determined, not less, to lead my organisation.’

DANIEL MORGAN INQUIRY

Last summer, the force was branded ‘institutionally corrupt’ by an independent panel investigating police inquiries into the unsolved murder in the 1980s of private detective Daniel Morgan.

In its bombshell report, the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel concluded forms of police corruption had hampered both the murder inquiry, and its own work to investigate the reasons why the case was never solved. Singling out Dame Cressida for blame, the report said she had not given a ‘reasonable explanation’ for blocking access to computer data and delaying the release of files, the last of which were provided only in March.

A Home Office source said there were ‘serious concerns with the Met’s leadership and how it responded to failings’ — although Miss Patel and Boris Johnson later expressed confidence in Dame Cressida.

The commissioner apologised for past mistakes, saying: ‘It is a matter of great regret that no one has been brought to justice and that our mistakes have compounded the pain suffered by Daniel’s family. For that I apologise again now.

‘I have been personally determined that the Met provided the panel with the fullest level of co-operation in an open and transparent manner, with complete integrity at all times.’

But amid calls for her resignation at the time, Dame Cressida said: ‘I don’t believe we are institutionally corrupt. No, I don’t accept that. I have the deepest feelings for Daniel Morgan’s family. They have shown extraordinary grit and determination and courage.


Daniel Morgan was investigating claims of corruption within the Metropolitan Police when he was murdered in 1987 – and the force failed him and his family ever since. His brother Alastair told the media that Cressida Dick should resign

‘Yesterday, I apologised again to them for our failings and the fact that we have not brought anybody to justice despite six investigations and countless other reviews and pieces of work.’

She added: ‘And for the fact that, in so doing and along the way, we have clearly, we the Met, my force, of which I’m very proud to be the Commissioner, we have caused them extra anguish. But I don’t accept that we are institutionally corrupt, no.’

The independent panel led by Baroness Nuala O’Loan found that the Met had put protecting its own reputation above finding Mr Morgan’s killer.

The panel’s report said: ‘Concealing or denying failings, for the sake of the organisation’s public image, is dishonesty on the part of the organisation for reputational benefit and constitutes a form of institutional corruption.’

JEAN CHARLES DE MENEZES

In July 2005, Dame Cressida was in overall charge of the operation which saw electrician Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, shot dead on a Tube train in south London.

Mr de Menezes, a Brazilian working in the capital, was blasted in the head seven times by police at Stockwell station after being followed by officers from his home nearby.

Later inquiries heard he appeared to match the description of suspects whose bombs failed to detonate on the transport system the previous day. Their attempted attack followed the 7/7 atrocity which killed 52 people on Tubes and a bus in London earlier that month.

Dame Cressida was cleared of all blame by later inquiries, but Mr de Menezes’ family expressed ‘serious concerns’ when she was appointed Met Commissioner in 2017.

The top policewoman told the Mail in 2018: ‘It was an appalling thing — an innocent man killed by police. Me in charge. Awful for the family and I was properly held to account. We learned every lesson that was to be learned.

‘My job was to stand up and be counted, tell the truth and carry on. If police officers fell to pieces or resigned when operations didn’t go well, it wouldn’t send out a good message.’

CHARING CROSS

A bombshell report by the IOPC watchdog exposed a cruel, toxic ‘boys club’ culture among officers at Charing Cross police station.

It found cops made rape jokes, boasted about domestic violence and made vile racist remarks in WhatsApp exchanges.

Grim texts between officers about raping women, killing black children, pedophilia, Muslims, Auschwitz and disabled people were also published in the watchdog’s report.

Last week, a former Met officer has come forward with new allegations of horrifying behaviour by officers at Charing Cross police station, including claims officers slept with female suspects and called black colleagues ‘monkeys’.

A ‘toxic’ culture existed at the Charing Cross Station dating back to 2006, said the former constable, who asked to be referred to by her first name, Liz

 

Further mock-ups of messages sent by a male officer during another shocking conversation on WhatsApp 

A ‘toxic’ culture existed at the station dating back to 2006, said the former constable, who asked to be referred to by her first name, Liz.

The ex-officer said there was an ‘awful’ atmosphere at the station where men had sex with women in bathrooms, ‘mercilessly bullied’ a colleague and made ‘cruel and sexual comments’ about women in the street while senior leaders stayed silent.

She said her male colleagues were like ‘kids in a candy store’ given the station’s proximity to ‘pubs, bars and party culture’, with one sergeant bragging about seeing his favourite Russian escort at Spearmint Rhino.

The report sparked public fury and caused Mr Khan to put Dame Cressida ‘on notice’ to make serious reforms to the force. Days later, she resigned.

MET COPS SHARE PHOTOS OF MURDERED SISTERS

Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry were stabbed to death by Danyal Hussein in Fryent Country Park in Wembley, north London, in June 2020, while out celebrating a birthday.

However, a report by the Independent Office for Police Conduct found the level of service provided by the Met over the weekend when they went missing was ‘below the standard that it should have been’.

Met officers Jamie Lewis and Deniz Jaffer later admitted taking and sharing images of the scene where the sisters were murdered.

Dame Cressida said at the time: ‘My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of Nicole and Bibaa for their tragic losses.

Bibaa Henry, 46,  and Nicole Smallman, 27, who were stabbed to death in Wembley last year

‘The way we responded to information that Nicole and Bibaa were missing that weekend was below the standard we should have achieved and compounded the distress felt by their loved ones.

‘While we know that very sadly Nicola and Bibaa had been murdered in the early hours of Saturday, 6 June 2020, before they were reported missing. If we had responded better we may have saved their friends and family immeasurable pain.

‘I am very sorry that the level of service we provided fell short. We have contacted the family to ask if they will allow me or, if they prefer, another senior officer to visit them at a time that is right to apologise in person.’

However, the sisters’ mother Mina Smallman called on Dame Cressida to resign, asking: ‘This is the woman who is going to tackle what we are up against in the Met?’.

She added: ‘Time for her to go. Up until she did the statement after the missing persons, the failure, the neglect in that particular procedure, I was so disappointed by what she said.

‘She said ‘We have been advised in the report to apologise to the family’ and I thought to myself if you need to be told by an organisation, because she knew it was true she had all the evidence.’

STEPHEN PORT KILLINGS

Scotland Yard was accused of ‘institutional homophobia’ for allegedly repeatedly dismissing fears that the murders of four young gay men by serial killer Stephen Port could be linked.

John Pape, who said he had a ‘whirlwind friendship’ with Slovakian Gabriel Kovari in summer 2014, said he provided the Metropolitan Police with information he thought might link the deaths in Barking, east London.

By September of that year, depraved killer Port had murdered Anthony Walgate, Mr Kovari and Daniel Whitworth by plying them with fatal doses of the drug GHB and dumping their bodies near his home.

Stephen Port, who will spend the rest of his life behind bars for murdering four men and sexually assaulting several others, began taking GHB in late 2013 


Two of Port’s four victims were Jack Taylor (left), 25, and Daniel Whitworth (right), 21

 


Anthony Walgate (left) and Gabriel Kovari (right) were also victims of Port

At the inquests into the deaths at Barking Town Hall, Mr Pape said he tracked down Mr Kovari’s former boyfriend, Thierry Amodio, who was told by another man — later established to be Port, seeking to distance himself from the investigation — that the men were drugged at orgies involving older men.

But Mr Pape said police seemed to ignore his attempts to provide them with information. It came as the detective appointed to speak with Mr Kovari’s family admitted having never done so, saying she was ‘busy’.

In December, Dame Cressida apologised to the family of a victim of Port. She told Mr Walgate’s mother: ‘I am sorry, both personally and on behalf of The Met — had police listened to what you said, things would have turned out a lot differently.’

EURO 2020 WEMBLEY FIASCO

On Dame Cressida’s watch, ticketless football hooligans broke past Wembley’s security barriers during the Euros 2020 last year and stormed the grounds ahead of England’s clash with Italy.

The Met was accused of not having enough officers on duty to create a ‘ring of steel’ around he venue to hold back the frenzied England supporters.

At the time, Sadiq Khan said: ‘It was not right what happened on Sunday — not just at Wembley, but across our city with the hooligans, from outside London, breaking the law in Leicester Square, Liverpool Street, Trafalgar Square, Wembley, and so forth.

The Met faced criticism following violence at Wembley Stadium at the final of the Euro 2020 Championships

‘The FA are reviewing their arrangements at Wembley, the Met Police Service will take part in that review.

‘The Met Police Service as we speak are sifting through the CCTV and body-worn videos. Already, 86 arrests have been made. I’d remind people that 19 police officers were injured. It’s really important that those responsible for criminal behaviour are arrested, charged and prosecuted.

‘What’s also really important, that I say loudly and clearly: the police have my full confidence and full support. One of my jobs as the mayor is to provide scrutiny of the police service to help provide the checks and balances in a vibrant democracy.

‘The police should be properly policed and often that there are difficult conversations between me as mayor and the senior team at the Met Police Service, but they have got my full support.’

LONDON BRIDGE & EXTINCTION REBELLION

In 2017 Dame Cressida was criticised for her choice of words after she said the victims of the London Bridge terror attack demonstrated London’s ‘diversity’.

The officer added: ‘We believe, of course, that that’s what makes our city so great. It’s a place where the vast majority of time it’s incredibly integrated and that diversity gives us strength.’

In 2019 the Met under Dame Cressida’s leadership was widely criticised for its ‘light-touch’ policing of Extinction Rebellion protests.The environmental demonstrators were allowed to blockade key areas of the capital for days, including Westminster Bridge and Oxford Circus.

So who might take over the troubled Met? Favourites to replace Cressida Dick include an ex-counter-terror chief who threatened to jail journalists or a Merseyside cop who said violent criminals were ‘NOT inherently bad people’ 

The leadership of the Metropolitan Police was thrown into chaos last night after Dame Cressida Dick’s bombshell resignation as Scotland Yard boss.

Confidence in the force has been shaken in recent years by a series of scandals including the murder of Sarah Everard by depraved cop Wayne Couzens, the disastrous probe into fake VIP child sex abuse claims, and allegations of racism, sexism and homophobia within the ranks.

Dame Cressida Dick, who became the first woman to head the Met Police in 2017, said she had ‘no choice but to step aside’ after losing Sadiq Khan’s confidence.

Following the announcement, questions quickly turned to who would succeed her during a tumultuous time for Britain’s biggest police force.  

Likely replacements for the £230,000-a-year role range from a counter-terror chief who threatened to jail journalists and blamed terrorism on a lack of social mobility to a Merseyside cop who said violent criminals were ‘not inherently bad people’. 

Speaking to MailOnline in September, a senior MP said they feared the current crop of senior police may be ‘too woke’. ‘The problem with Cressida is she has presided over a series of disasters, and then says it is not her fault,’ the MP said. ‘It is difficult when we always take the same view that operational decisions are a matter for the police not politicians.’

Here, MailOnline goes through the list of likely candidates to succeed Dame Cressida.

The leadership of the Metropolitan Police was thrown into chaos last night after Dame Cressida Dick’s bombshell resignation as Scotland Yard boss 

Neil Basu: Anti-terror chief who called for journalists to be prosecuted after publishing leaked cables criticising Trump 

Neil Basu, who has been at the Met for nearly 30 years

Neil Basu is the Met’s former head of counter-terrorism and the most senior serving British officer of Asian heritage.

He also served as the assistant commissioner for specialist operations until September 2021, which included responsibilities around national security, and had originally been tipped for the top job in 2017 before losing out to Dame Cressida.

In February this year, he called for laws in the Equality Act 2010 that restrict positive discriminations to be relaxed in order to boost the number of BAME recruits. He was immediately shot down by policing minister Kit Malthouse, while Home Secretary Priti Patel was also said to be against the idea.

Mr Basu faced fresh accusations of meddling in politics in July 2019, when he threatened to prosecute journalists for publishing leaked cables from Britain’s ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch.

Former Tory cabinet minister David Davis said the intervention ‘strayed well beyond his brief’, and represented an attack on the free Press.

Mr Basu’s comments came after Scotland Yard launched a probe to find who leaked Sir Kim’s memos calling the Trump administration ‘clumsy and inept’.

Mr Basu, who has spent his whole career at the Met, made another controversial intervention in August that year when suggested homegrown terrorism was fuelled by a lack of social mobility and inclusion. He said better education and opportunities for young people would do more to fight terrorism than ‘the policing and state security apparatus put together’ — adding that he was not trying to excuse any acts of violence.

He also said British Muslims should not be forced to ‘assimilate’, adding: ‘Assimilation implies that I have to hide myself in order to get on. We should not be a society that accepts that.’

A 2019 profile of Basu in the Mail On Sunday described him as well-liked within the force and by intelligence officials at MI5. But he has attracted criticism for some of his operational decisions, most notably as head of Operations Weeting, Elveden and Tuleta. The three inquiries into phone hacking, computer hacking and alleged payments to police officers by newspapers cost around £19.5million and were criticised for criminalising journalists.

Mr Basu also raised eyebrows when he criticised the Prevent programme – which tries to detect and deradicalise Muslim extremists – as ‘toxic’.

A Hindu, born to an Indian doctor father and a white British mother, he has said he has encountered racism over most of his life. He grew up in Stafford, where he studied at Walton High School before reading economics at Nottingham University.

He became a Met police officer in 1992, serving first as a beat bobby in Battersea, South London, then swiftly moving through the ranks as a borough commander in Barnet, North London, and a Commander of South London in 2012.

Andy Cooke: Former Merseyside chief who insists even violent criminals are ‘not inherently bad people’             

Andy Cooke, who now serves with the police inspectorate 

While head of Merseyside Police, Andy Cooke sparked anger when he said even violent criminals are ‘not inherently bad people’ and he’d rather pump billions into cutting poverty than upholding the law.

The officer, marking his retirement as Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, said if he was given a £5 billion budget to cut crime, he would spend £1 billion on crime and £4 billion on tackling poverty.

He now serves in the role of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary and Inspector of Fire and Rescue Authorities in England. He will be overseeing inspections primarily in the North of England.

Mr Cooke was chief constable for five years, during which time he has overseen the jailing of dozens of multi-millionaire drug laws, including Liverpool’s most notorious drugs boss Liam ‘the Lam’ Cornett, who was transported to court in a huge armed convoy every day, and the jet-setting Mulhare brothers, who were caught abroad in Thailand after being informed on by a ‘supergrass’.

Murderers jailed during his tenure include George Leather, 60, who brutally killed his Asda worker wife, 56, by stabbing her 300 times in an ‘episode of unspeakable and barbaric savagery’, and Robert Child, 37, who was jailed for life for striking his 64-year-old mother Janice with a hammer 31 times.

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said of Mr Cooke’s plans for the police budget: ‘In that case would he be quite happy to sack 80% of the officers. Reducing poverty is not a function of the policing budget, it’s the job of other agencies and government.

‘I’m not convinced that this change would be welcomed by the vast majority of the UK population. They want to see the police protecting citizens and property and crime. He sounds like someone who would have taken the knee for BLM and defunded the police.’

Under Mr Cooke, Merseyside Police gained a reputation for tough policing and for being a keen user of stop-and-search powers. He was also the first commander of Merseyside’s Matrix unit, set up to tackle gang crime and violence.  

Simon Byrne: Top Northern Ireland cop ‘with a reputation for being like Darth Vader’ 

Simon Byrne became chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland in May 2019

Simon Byrne became chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland in May 2019, arriving at the force with 36 years of policing behind him. 

After holding senior roles at GMP and the Met, he became chief constable of Cheshire Police from 2014 to 2017. That role ended in controversial circumstances after he was accused of bullying and humiliating staff. 

A misconduct hearing was told he had a reputation for being like Darth Vader and treated junior officers and staff like ‘roadkill’. 

The hearing was told he handed pictures of Dad’s Army characters to officers after he became angry when flooding made him late for work. 

However, he was cleared of misconduct, with the tribunal concluding that much of what was claimed was either exaggerated or most likely didn’t happen. 

During his time as chief constable, Mr Byrne revealed he had considered breaking the law in order to hire more officers from ethnic minorities. At that time the force only had three black officers. 

He told the BBC in 2017 that the law should be changed in England ‘for a certain period of time’ to allow the hiring of minority candidates to speed up. This would ensure that ‘for every white officer, we recruit one black officer.’

Mr Byrne said: ‘I’ve even taken legal advice about breaking the law, which might sound crazy as a senior police officer. 

‘But if we’re put under pressure to change, then what are the consequences, other than reputational, from breaking the law?’

Under current equality rules employers cannot employ a job applicant because of characteristics like race, sexual orientation or gender, if other candidates are better qualified.

At PSNI he attracted controversy for suggesting the children of paramilitaries could be taken into care. 

He was also forced to apologise after tweeting a photo of himself with officers holding rifles outside a PSNI station on Christmas Day, the BBC reported. 

Martin Hewitt: NPCC chief who backed crackdown on Covid sceptics and said officers felt ‘undervalued’ amid pay row  

Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council

As chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) throughout the Covid crisis, Martin Hewitt has made a number of high-profile interventions in politics. 

Amid fury last year at officers being hit by a pay freeze, Mr Hewitt told Priti Patel that many officers believed the decision was ‘unfair’ and they felt ‘undervalued’ after their efforts during Covid.

Mr Hewitt said: ‘For many it feels unfair and that their contribution is undervalued.

‘And, unlike other parts of the public service, officers do not have the option of industrial action to make their case more strongly.

‘As the Government makes spending decisions over coming months, we urge you to fund a settlement which properly reflects the important and complex work police officers do, and starts to address the pay shortfall.’

In January 2021, he backed a crackdown on lockdown sceptics and said officers would no longer ‘waste time’ trying to reason with them amid soaring death rates. 

Speaking at a Downing Street press briefing, he gave examples of shocking ‘irresponsible behaviour’ from people not heeding warnings – even with more than 1,200 people dying every day.

They included a £30-per-head boat party in Hertfordshire with more than 40 people, a Surrey house party whose host tried to claim it was a business event and a minibus full of people from different households caught travelling from Cheltenham into Wales for a walk.

Mr Hewitt was appointed in April 2019. He began his policing career with Kent Police in 1993 and transferred to the Metropolitan Police Service in 2005.

As an Assistant Commissioner for five years, he led frontline and local policing, specialist crime and professional standards. 

He led the national police response to adult sexual offences and kidnap between 2014 and 2019, and served as a Vice-Chair for the NPCC from 2015 before taking on the chairmanship. 

Matt Jukes: Assistant commissioner credited with leading crackdown on Rotherham child grooming gangs  

Matt Jukes: Assistant commissioner credited with leading crackdown on Rotherham child grooming gangs

Matt Jukes joined South Yorkshire police in 1995 three years after graduating with a degree in mathematics from Oxford. 

He worked as a detective and rose through the ranks to represent UK police forces at G8 meetings and lead on national anti-terror strategy. 

Mr Jukes is best known for tackling Rotherham grooming gangs while borough commander in the Yorkshire town from 2006 to 2010. 

More than 1,000 children were exploited in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013, with local authorities, schools and police among agencies that failed to tackle the problem.

A report on the scandal by Professor Alexis Jay suggested that Mr Jukes’ leadership marked a point where police became more proactive in dealing with the abuse.

After serving in South Yorkshire Police, he moved to South Wales, with the police and crime commissioner there Alun Michael backing him as an outstanding leader.

Mr Jukes worked his way up to the top post in South Wales Police, becoming Chief Constable in January 2018.

He is also chairman of Police Sport UK.

Mr Jukes moved to the Met in November 2020. He was awarded a Queens Police Medal in the New Year Honours List 2018.

Source: Read Full Article