Outgoing Met chief criticizes ‘politicization of police work’ as she leaves post

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The outgoing Metropolitan Police Commissioner has warned against the “politicization of policing”, saying it “threatens not only the police, but confidence in the entire criminal justice system”.

Dame Cressida Dick made some final comments before the end of her tenure, describing the operational independence of the police force from the government as “critical” in what could be seen as a swipe at political leaders in the wake of her demise.

She resigned after London mayor Sadiq Khan criticized her handling of racist, misogynistic and homophobic messages shared by a group of officers at Charing Cross police station and following a series of other scandals the Met had seen during her tenure. plagued.

Her resignation was met with dismay by staff and came just hours after she said in an interview that she had no intention of retiring.

On Friday, a smiling Dame Cressida was cheered and applauded by a large crowd of police officers and staff as they emotionally bid her farewell outside the yard in Scotland ahead of her last day of work this weekend.

Meanwhile, Mr Khan said he would “not hide from the fact” that he was losing faith in her.

In a ‘letter to London’, Dame Cressida wrote: ‘Of course, looking back, there is more that I wish we had accomplished.

“We hear the criticism, know that not everyone trusts us to provide a good service when they need us, and have seen among us people whose heinous actions have let you all, and us, down so terribly. .

“Everyone drives us to get better, to eradicate those who don’t uphold our standards and don’t deserve to wear our uniforms… We listen and act on what you tell us so we can change for the better.

“The current politicization of the police poses a threat not only to the police, but to confidence in the entire criminal justice system. Operational independence of local and central government is crucial for an effective democracy and is respected worldwide. We must all cherish and protect it.”

Speaking at the launch of Labour’s local election campaign in Barnet, north London, Mr Khan said: “In the recent past she has worked with many others to help us reduce violent crime, but I will not hide that I trust her.

“I am not going to hide the fact that in our city we have had a series of devastating scandals, overt racism, sexism, discrimination, homophobia, we have had trust and confidence from Londoners in the police service at an all-time low.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he would not hide the fact that he had lost confidence in Dame Cressida Dick as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police (Victoria Jones/PA).PA wire

“It’s one of the reasons I lost faith in her and it’s one of the things I’ll look for in a new Commissioner, how they’re going to tackle some of these serious issues that the current Commissioner, quite frankly, hasn’t addressed. †

Dame Cressida was greeted with cheers of “hip, hip, hooray” and greeted by a guard of honor as she waved and thanked those who had gathered for her farewell.

On a previous visit to the Metropolitan Police Specialist Training Center in Gravesend, Kent, she reiterated that the mayor “made me say I was going to step aside” and that she did not “resign voluntarily” – the circumstances of which are being judged by departing Superintendent of Police, Sir Thomas Winsor.

Dame Cressida told reporters that the culture in the Corps is “changing,” adding, “I believe you saw a real opening of the Met during my time as commissioner.”

Two investigations are underway into the culture within the Met in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard by then-serving police officer Wayne Couzens, the incarceration of two officers who took photos of the bodies of murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman, criticism of the military’s handling of the partygate scandal and Daniel Morgan’s report overturning the Met’s inability to crack down on corruption.

Dame Cressida is leaving because more than 34,000 officers are employed by the Met, the highest in history according to the nearly 200-year-old police force.

She assessed 157 police officers and 25 detectives as she passed out on her last time in Hendon in north-west London.

Dame Cressida said she would “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 that the changes we have made will ensure that you can be proud of the Meet in the future”.

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

Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House will temporarily act as Acting Commissioner while the recruitment process continues.

This could take around five months, Mr Khan said, adding that the best candidate would be “someone who understands the challenges we face and also recognizes the uniqueness of London”.

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