Friday, 11 February 2022

Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

On Thursday 10 February, Dame Cressida Dick (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis) resigned "following contact with" the Mayor of London (Sadiq Khan) - see the Statement by Dame Cressida Dick. Earlier the same day, the Commissioner said that she had no intention of resigning - BBC News 10 February.

See the statement by Mayor Sadiq Khan - Video: Sadiq Khan makes a statement about Cressida Dick's resignation | Daily Mail Online

On 1 February, the Independent Office for Police Complaints (IOPC) published details of recommendations to tackle "bullying and harassment in the ranks" of the Metropolitan Police Service - IOPC recommendations to tackle Met culture after investigation uncovers bullying and harassment in the ranks | Independent Office for Police Conduct

Following the IOPC recommendations it was reported

that the Mayor had put the Commissioner "on notice" - Cressida Dick put ‘on notice’ by ‘furious’ Sadiq Khan over Met misconduct | Evening Standard

Dame Cressida became Commissioner in 2017 for a 5 year term.  In September 2021 she was offered, and accepted, a 2 year extension to commence in April 2022.  It was reported at the time that a reason for the extension was that "those most likely to replace her were not yet seen as being suitable for the job" - Cressida Dick offered two-year extension as Met police chief | Cressida Dick | The Guardian.

The law:

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 provides that, for the Metropolitan Police District, there is to be a "Mayor's Office for Police and Crime" (section 3) and that is scrutinised by the London Assembly's Police and Crime Panel (section 32).

Section 4 states - there is to be a corporation sole with the name "the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis" and that the Commissioner is "to be appointed, and hold office, in accordance with - (a) sections 42 and 48, and (b) the terms and conditions of the appointment.

Section 42 provides that the Commissioner is to be appointed by Her Majesty by warrant under Her sign manual - s42(1). The Secretary of State (i.e. the Home Secretary) may not recommend to Her Majesty that She appoint a person as the Commissioner unless that person is eligible for appointment, and, before making such a recommendation the Secretary of State must have regard to any recommendation made by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.

Section 48 provides that the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime may suspend or remove the Commissioner but the approval of the Secretary of State is required.

The legislation sets out the legal basics of the what is, in practice, a highly politicised process for an appointment of the Commissioner who has overall direction and control of the UK's largest Police Force.  The politicised process is particularly evident when the Secretary of State and the Mayor of London are almost political polar opposites - (Conservative and Labour respectively). Already tension is reported - Cressida Dick: Priti Patel and London mayor clash as Met chief quits - BBC News

The Force has policing responsibilities across the 32 London Boroughs but does not include the "City of London" which is separately policed - Home | City of London Police. There are unique challenges arising from London being the capital city and the centre of UK government, the location of some 164 Embassies / High Commissions, and a place with significantly more protests and events than elsewhere in the UK.

There have been 28 Commissioners since 1829. Dame Cressida is the first female appointee.

11 February 2022


Comments by Home Secretary Priti Patel in newspaper article - Priti Patel: I will select the right Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police | Evening Standard

12 February - BBC News - Cressida Dick: Why is it so hard to fix the Met's toxic culture?

14 February - The Guardian -

4 June 2022 - My advice to the new Cressida Dick: police violent men, not the women they abuse | Laura Bates | The Guardian

9 July 2022:

Met Police commissioner: Sir Mark Rowley named as force's new leader - BBC News

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