Job advert for new Met Police commissioner demands ‘demonstrably more professional force’

Cressida Dick hit out at the politicisation of policing in a letter to Londoners as she left the role

Thomas Kingsley
Wednesday 13 April 2022 15:06
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<p>The Met Police are now searching for a new commissioner after the departure of Dame Cressida Dick</p>

The Met Police are now searching for a new commissioner after the departure of Dame Cressida Dick

The job advert for the next Metropolitan Police commissioner has demanded the successful candidate make the force “demonstrably more professional”.

Previous commissioner Dame Cressida Dick left the job last week, with her deputy Sir Stephen House temporarily taking the reins until a permanent successor is appointed in the summer.

The force has been mired in a series of scandals that have damaged public confidence, including the rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving officer and offensive messages being shared by a team based at Charing Cross.

The advert says: “It has become evident that significant and sustained improvements need to be made within the MPS to restore public confidence and legitimacy in the largest police force in the UK.

The Met have accepted recommendations made by a watchdog after an investigation into the exchange of offensive messages between police officers

“This will require inspirational leadership to deliver a demonstrably more professional police force, that better reflects the diversity of London itself.

“You will lead the service through significant change, role-modelling credible, visible and empowering leadership to address concerns around police conduct and tackling institutional culture,” it continues.

“The successful candidate will be responsible for re-establishing trust and confidence in policing amongst everyone living in London, particularly women and girls and those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.”

On her last day of service last week, Dame Cressida said she would always look back on her time as commissioner “with pride for what has been achieved”, and hailed the decrease in murders, shootings, stabbings and other types of violence that had taken place under her leadership.

However, as a parting shot, she hit out at the “politicisation of policing”. In an open letter to Londoners, the departing commissioner took what will be seen as a swipe at the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, as a row over her resignation continues.

Dame Cressida will now take unused annual leave, with her final day of employment being 24 April

“The current politicisation of policing is a threat not just to policing but to trust in the whole criminal justice system,” she wrote. “Operational independence from local and central government is crucial for an effective democracy and is a model respected around the world. We must all treasure and protect it.”

The letter was published after Dame Cressida walked out of Scotland Yard to a guard of honour from saluting police officers on Friday while being clapped and cheered by an assembled crowd.

The letter did not refer directly to the murder of Sarah Everard, or to a succession of scandals involving allegations of racism, sexism and corruption among officers, but Dame Cressida wrote that the force was rooting out “those among us whose horrific actions have let you all, and us, down so terribly”.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he had lost confidence in Dame Cressida as Met Police commissioner

She added: “I’m sad my time in this great job is fast drawing to a close, however I am extremely optimistic for the Met’s future. It is bigger, more diverse, more capable than ever.”

Mr Khan thanked the outgoing Metropolitan Police commissioner for four decades of “dedicated public service” on her final day in the role, as she takes unused annual leave until her final day of official employment on 24 April.

It is understood she will receive a severance payment of £166,000, the majority of which is related to a six-month notice period plus an additional payment of two months’ salary.

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