Dame Cressida Dick has resigned from the Metropolitan Police after London Mayor Sadiq Khan made clear he had no confidence in her leadership.
Cressida Dick was Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police for almost five years but stepped down on 10 February, after a series of failings which she said left her with “no choice” but to quit.
Trust in the Met Police is at an all-time low, due to a culture of misogyny, racism, and homophobia that Cressida Dick has been unable to stamp out during her time as Commissioner. There have also been a number of recent cases which have received extremely widespread public attention, such as the murder of Sarah Everard wherein much of the public feel Dick was unable to deal with effectively. Dick stated: “The murder of Sarah Everard and many other awful cases recently have, I know, damaged confidence in this fantastic police service”. Campaign group Reclaim These Streets, which is currently bringing a legal challenge against the Met Police over its handling of the Sarah Everard vigil, tweeted “Good riddance” after Dick’s resignation.
Mina Smallman, the mother of two women murdered in a park in Wembley has also expressed that the disappearance of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry was treated less urgently than if they had been white. The criticism the Met Police has faced whilst Dame Cressida Dick has been Commissioner has been severe and many felt the police service would not be able to regain confidence in the public whilst she is still steering the ship.
The ongoing investigation into the delay to the publication of Sue Gray’s report into the lockdown parties at Downing Street has also caused suspicion of corruption within the Met Police. The SNP and Lib Dems are claiming the delay in publication is a “stitch-up” aimed at ensuring Boris Johnson remains in power. The Met had asked Ms Gray to leave certain details of her investigation out of the report to avoid prejudicing their own inquiries, causing further suspicion into the current relationship between the Met and Downing Street.
Dick will continue to hold the position for a short time whilst a replacement is found to ensure the “stability of the Met”. Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey, has said the prime minister “must have no role in choosing [her] successor” whilst his participation in rule-breaking parties during lockdown is being investigated.