Dame Cressida Dick: Head of outgoing Met warns of ‘politicization of police work’ in farewell letter to London | british news



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Dame Cressida Dick has warned that the “politicization of police work” poses a threat to the way officers do their jobs and to the criminal justice system, in some of her latest comments as Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

As her tenure draws to a close, the chief of staff on the force said she will reflect on what else she and others could have possibly done during her time in the position.

She suggested that more should be done to “exterminate people who do not live up to our standards and do not deserve to wear our uniform”.

Dame Cressida, who was given a guard of honor with cheers of “hip, hip, hooray” as she left Scotland Yard for her last day of work this weekend, said earlier she had “no choice” but to resign in February after London Mayor Sadiq Khan lost “confidence” in her.

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The outgoing senior police chief (center) on patrol with local officers in Chingford, Essex

She said she was “really proud” of what the Corps had accomplished in its five years on the job, adding that it is “much more diverse, much more professional and larger” with more than 34,000 officers on duty.

Dame Cressida stressed that her resignation was not her decision during a visit to Kent in her last days in office, claiming that the mayor “made me say I was going to step aside”.

She resigned after Mr Khan criticized her handling of racist, misogynistic and homophobic posts shared by a group of officers at Charing Cross police station, which was one of the controversies that plagued the Met during her time in office.

Her resignation came as a shock to her staff, as she had said in an interview just hours earlier that she had no intention of retiring.

Some of us ‘let you all down so terribly’

In her ‘letter to London’ she wrote: “I have been privileged to lead the Metropolitan Police Service for the past five years.

“I will always look back on my time as Commissioner with pride for what has been achieved, with humility for when Londoners have been let down, and with immense confidence the changes we have made will ensure that you can be proud going forward at the Met.”

Embargoed on Friday, April 8, 1700, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick on patrol with local officers in Chingford, Essex, ahead of her last day as head of the Met on April 10.  Photo date: Thursday, April 7, 2022.
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Dame Cressida admitted mistakes made by the Met while in power

She stressed that “violence has decreased”, as have murders, shootings and stabbings, adding: “These figures are not an accident. They are not repeated in other major British cities”.

But she acknowledged the criticism the Met has faced since coming to power, adding: “We hear the criticism, know that not everyone trusts us to provide a good service when they need us, and have seen among us those whose heinous actions have failed all of you, and us, so terribly.

“Everyone drives us to get better, to eradicate those who don’t live up to our standards and don’t deserve to wear our uniforms. To improve our response so that all of our communities feel protected by us.”

Dame Cressida said that by learning from mistakes, the power “listens and acts on what you tell us so we can change for the better”.

“This week we launched our plan for violence against women and girls, shaped by the views of hundreds of Londoners.”

Politicization of the police is a threat

But her letter did not pass by criticizing the “politicization of policing” in the UK.

She said: “The current politicization of the police poses a threat not only to the police, but to confidence in the entire criminal justice system.

Embargoed on Friday, April 8, 1700, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick (center) visits a cafe while on patrol with local officers in Chingford, Essex, ahead of her last day as head of the Met on April 10.  Photo date: Thursday, April 7, 2022.
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Dame Cressida Dick served as Met .’s Police Commissioner for five years

“Operational independence from local and central government is crucial for effective democracy and is a model that is respected around the world. We must all cherish and protect it.”

She ended the letter saying she was “sad” that her time in this great job is coming to an end soon, but expressed her excitement about the future of the Met.

‘I look back and analyze further’

During a visit to the Metropolitan Police Specialist Training Center in Gravesend, Kent, Dame Cressida was applauded by firearms officers and public order officers who presented her with a certificate after 40 years of service.

She also thanked every officer and trainer at the center, and many also thanked her in return for her leadership.

Speaking about whether she regretted things she could have done differently, Dame Cressida told reporters: “I think as I sit there, after I’ve left, I’ll look back and analyze further what might have happened.” happened, what I could have done or what others could have done under certain circumstances.

“But I’m really proud of what the Met has achieved in this time. I think London should know that it has a fantastic police force, a world leading police force that people from all over the world come to see, which has improved.”

Her last working day is on Sunday, after which she will take unused annual leave, with the last working day being April 24.

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