Cressida Dick on her first day as Commissioner, 10 April 2017
|Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis|
|Assumed office |
10 April 2017
|Deputy||Sir Craig Mackey |
Sir Stephen House
|Home Secretary||Amber Rudd|
|Deputy Mayor||Sophie Linden|
|Preceded by||Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe|
|Assistant Commissioner |
for Specialist Operations
July 2011 – January 2015
|Preceded by||John Yates|
|Succeeded by||Mark Rowley|
|Deputy Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis|
8 November 2011 – 23 January 2012
|Preceded by||Tim Godwin|
|Succeeded by||Craig Mackey|
Cressida Rose Dick
16 October 1960
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
|Alma mater||Balliol College, Oxford|
Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
The MPS is the largest police force in the UK, with certain national responsibilities; the Commissioner, its head, is often thought of as being the highest-ranking police officer in the UK. She is the first woman to take charge of the service, being selected for the role in February 2017 and taking office on 10 April 2017.
Previously she was a senior officer in the MPS. Dick served as acting Deputy Commissioner in the interim between Deputy Commissioner Tim Godwin's retirement and his permanent successor, Craig Mackey, taking office at the end of January 2012.
Before 2005, Dick attracted little media attention, but became well known as having been the officer in command of the operation which led to the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes. She was cleared of personal blame in a 2007 criminal trial. In June 2009, she was promoted to the rank of assistant commissioner, the first woman to hold this rank substantively.
On 22 February 2017, the Home Office and the MPS jointly announced that she would be appointed as the next Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis by Queen Elizabeth II, on the formal recommendation of Home Secretary Amber Rudd. She is the first woman to hold this rank.
Cressida Dick is the third and youngest child of Marcus William Dick, Senior Tutor at Balliol College, Oxford, and Professor of Philosophy at the University of East Anglia, and Cecilia (née Buxton), a University of Oxford historian. She was born and brought up in Oxford, England, and educated at the Dragon School, Oxford High School, Balliol College, Oxford, and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Before joining the police, she worked in a large accountancy firm.
In 1983, Dick joined the Metropolitan Police as a constable. From 1993, she was a tutor on the accelerated promotion course at Bramshill Police College, and in 1995, transferred to Thames Valley Police as a superintendent. She was operations superintendent at Oxford, and later, area commander in Oxford for three years. In 2000, she completed the strategic command course and, in 2001, she graduated as a Master of Philosophy in criminology from Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, with the highest grade in her year.
In June 2001, she returned to the MPS as a commander, where she was head of the diversity directorate until 2003. She then became the head of Operation Trident, which investigates gun crimes within London's black community.
In the immediate aftermath of 21 July 2005 London bombings, she was the gold commander in the control room during the operation which led to the death of the Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, wrongly identified as a potential suicide bomber.
In September 2006, the Metropolitan Police Authority announced her promotion to the rank of deputy assistant commissioner, specialist operations. On 30 June 2009 the Metropolitan Police Authority announced her promotion to assistant commissioner, in charge of the Specialist Crime Directorate.
Dick was appointed acting deputy commissioner, and held the post between the retirement of Tim Godwin and the commencement of the new deputy commissioner Craig Mackey's term at the beginning of 2012. She held the rank until 23 January 2012.
It was announced in December 2014 that she would retire from the police in 2015 to join the Foreign Office, in an unspecified director-general level posting. At the time the Met press office said she was joining MI6, which was published by Fleet Street before being withdrawn and deleted. Rejected FoI requests for senior salary details effectively confirmed the community she worked in. She is widely understood to have been not a DG rank as alleged by the FCO, but paid at DG level as the Director of the Secret Intelligence Service Global Counter Terror Operations controllerate. This role was previously held by Sir Mark Allen. She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to policing.
Commissioner of the Metropolitan PoliceEdit
On 22 February 2017, the Home Office and the MPS jointly announced that Dick would be appointed as the next Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police by the Queen, on the recommendation of the Home Secretary Amber Rudd. She assumed office on 10 April 2017; her first official engagement was that afternoon being at the funeral of PC Keith Palmer, the officer killed in the 2017 Westminster attack.
Dick is negotiating with the government in an effort to increase funding for the MPS. She said to LBC, "[Terrorism] is a shifting threat, not a spike, that puts a strain not just on counter-terror police but neighbourhood officers. This is not sustainable for my police service." Dick fears the MPS will need to find £400 million per year savings in addition to the £600 million annual savings they have already found. She fears this will make fighting crime harder. Dick said, "I find it incredible to think that anybody would think that over the next four or five years we should lose that much extra out of our budget."
In June 2017 Dick faced criticism for praising the "diversity" of the victims of the Islamic terror attack on London Bridge that killed eight people. Dick claimed that the nationalities of those killed told a proud story of the city’s diversity, noting that "among those who died is someone who’s British, there are French, Australian, Canadian, Spanish".
Dick said she is sure cuts to police funding in London is one factor among others in rising violent crime in there. The Guardian reported in May 2018 that the number of police officers fell below 35,000 for the first time in 15 years. Dick responded, "I'm hoping that we will get to well over 30,500 officers, more than 500 more than we currently have, by the end of next year ." Dick also partly blamed social media for growing violent crime. Dick said, "We are seeing the glamorisation of violence, we are seeing social media being used to taunt other gangs, to bring violence about very quickly." Dick said:
Dick is concerned about the effect of a no deal Brexit. She fears this would be costly and would put the public at risk, commenting “We will have to replace some of the things we currently use in terms of access to databases, the way in which we can quickly extradite and arrest people … [We will] have to replace them as effectively as we can, but it will be more costly, slower and potentially put [the] public at risk … There is no doubt about that. This is one of many things politicians deciding what to do need to be thinking about. (...) We would hope that we have as much as possible the instruments we currently have or something similar, as quickly as possible, to keep the public safe. The consequences of not having those things, and if there was [a] no-deal scenario, would be difficult in the short term.”
Dick's official portrait as Commissioner was unveiled in July 2019 as part of the commemorations to mark 100 years of women in the Metropolitan Police. The oil painting was paid for by Dick from of her own salary to save public funds, and shows the commissioner in front of a map of London. She is portrayed in a police shirt rather than full tunic uniform, and sat for twenty hours in her own time for the artist Frances Bell. It will hang at the Hendon training centre alongside portraits of her 26 male predecessors. Portraits are usually unveiled after a Commissioner has stepped down, but Dick’s colleagues felt unveiling her portrait would be a fitting way to mark the centenary of the first woman joining the Met.
|Order of the British Empire (CBE)||
|Queen's Police Medal (QPM)||
|Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal||
|Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal||
|Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal|
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- Dodd, Vikram (31 October 2017). "Met police chief warns further cuts will make it harder to fight crime". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
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- Met chief says budget cuts have contributed to rise in violent crime The Guardian. 18 May 2018
- No-deal Brexit could put public at risk, says Met police chief The Guardian
- "Cressida Dick portrait marks 100 years of women in the Met". Evening Standard. 12 July 2019. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
- "Portrait unveiled of the first female Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police". ITV News. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
- Tom Harper (30 September 2018). "Keep sexuality undercover, Met police boss Cressida Dick told Brian Paddick". The Times. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- "UK's most senior police officer awarded honorary degree from Cranfield". www.cranfield.ac.uk.
| Assistant Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
(Specialist Crime Directorate)
| Assistant Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe
| Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis