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Cressida Dick resigns as commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police

Cressida Dick resigns as commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick announced Thursday she will resign, saying London Mayor Sadiq Khan "no longer has sufficient confidence" in her leadership. Photo by Andy Rain/EPA-EFE

Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Cressida Dick announced Thursday that she will resign as chief of London's Metropolitan Police Service.

In a statement, Dick cited a lack of confidence from London Mayor Sadiq Khan, amid concerns of officer misbehavior and the slow pace of investigations into government parties during COVID-19 lockdowns.

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"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."

Dick added that she has agreed to "stay on for a short period to ensure the stability of the Met" while arrangements are made for a new commissioner to take her place at Khan's request.

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The news of Dick's resignation came as Metropolitan Police announced Thursday that they will question more than 50 people as part of the investigation into more than a dozen alleged gatherings at Downing Street -- the residence of Prime Minister Boris Johnson -- that took place during 2020, breaking social-distancing and lockdown rules.

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Also, the service has faced scrutiny after Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens last year pleaded guilty to raping and killing Sarah Everard, 33, as she walked home from a friend's house.

A report last week also detailed evidence of "discrimination, misogyny, harassment and bullying" by Metropolitan Police officers.

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Harriet Wistrich, director of the Center for Women's Justice, said there were "far too many stories of officers accused of violence and abuse still left in their jobs and of whistleblowers victimized instead of listened to."

"Cressida Dick's response to these series of stories has been wholly inadequate and her description of Wayne Couzens and 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," she added.

Dick acknowledged the state of the department in her statement on Thursday.

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"The murder of Sarah Everard and many other awful cases recently have, I know, damaged confidence in this fantastic police service," she said. "There is much to do -- and I know that the Met has turned its full attention to rebuilding public trust and confidence."

Dick was named the first female commissioner in Metropolitan police's history in 2017 and oversaw the service during the 2017 London Bridge attack.

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