Dame Cressida Dick wants to renew contract as Met commissioner

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Dame Cressida Dick wishes to continue in her role despite a string of controversies and the Wembley security scandal.

The Metropolitan Police commissioner is expected to make an informal bid next month in order to remain running Britain’s biggest police force.

She hopes to renew her contract which is set to expire in April and has indicated to a number of political and policing figures she aims to remain in office, the Times reports.

It comes after the Met faced criticism following violence at Wembley Stadium at the final of Euro 2020 on Sunday.

The force was accused of not having enough officers on duty to create a ‘ring of steel’ around the venue to stop unticketed fans from entering the stadium.

The Wembley security debacle came two days after Wayne Couzens, a diplomatic protection officer, admitted to the murder of Sarah Everard.

The force faces questions about why Couzens was not arrested before he abducted the 33-year-old marketing manager for flashing offences that were reported to the police.

The Metropolitan Police commissioner faced calls for her resignation after women were arrested at a vigil that was held in memory of Miss Everard.

Dame Cressida Dick wishes to continue in her role despite a string of controversies and the Wembley security scandal

It comes after the Met faced criticism following violence at Wembley Stadium at the final of Euro 2020 on Sunday

It comes after the Met faced criticism following violence at Wembley Stadium at the final of Euro 2020 on Sunday

It comes after the Met faced criticism following violence at Wembley Stadium at the final of Euro 2020 on Sunday

The Metropolitan Police commissioner faced calls for her resignation earlier this year after women were arrested at a vigil that was held in memory of Miss Everard

The Metropolitan Police commissioner faced calls for her resignation earlier this year after women were arrested at a vigil that was held in memory of Miss Everard

The Metropolitan Police commissioner faced calls for her resignation earlier this year after women were arrested at a vigil that was held in memory of Miss Everard

Dame Cressida was also slammed by the families of victims of VIP paedophile ring fantasist Carl Beech, whose spurious allegations were investigated by police - ruining the lives and reputations of those he accused

Dame Cressida was also slammed by the families of victims of VIP paedophile ring fantasist Carl Beech, whose spurious allegations were investigated by police - ruining the lives and reputations of those he accused

Dame Cressida was also slammed by the families of victims of VIP paedophile ring fantasist Carl Beech, whose spurious allegations were investigated by police – ruining the lives and reputations of those he accused  

The Home Secretary Priti Patel makes the appointment, taking into consideration any recommendation from Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, who oversees the day-to-day of the Met

The Home Secretary Priti Patel makes the appointment, taking into consideration any recommendation from Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, who oversees the day-to-day of the Met

The Home Secretary Priti Patel makes the appointment, taking into consideration any recommendation from Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, who oversees the day-to-day of the Met

The top cop dogged by controversy: Under-fire Cressida Dick has been embroiled in several controversies during her time at Scotland Yard

Cressida Dick has been embroiled in a string of controversies during her 38-year career at the Met.

In July 2005 she was in overall charge of the operation which saw electrician Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, shot dead on a Tube train in south London.

Mr de Menezes, a Brazilian working in the capital, was blasted in the head seven times by police at Stockwell station after being followed by officers from his home nearby.

Later inquiries heard he appeared to match the description of suspects whose bombs failed to detonate on the transport system the previous day. 

Their attempted attack followed the 7/7 atrocity which killed 52 people on Tubes and a bus in London earlier that month.

Dame Cressida was cleared of all blame by later inquiries, but Mr de Menezes’ family expressed ‘serious concerns’ when she was appointed Met Commissioner in 2017. 

The top policewoman, 60, told the Mail in 2018: ‘It was an appalling thing – an innocent man killed by police. Me in charge. Awful for the family and I was properly held to account. We learned every lesson that was to be learned.

‘My job was to stand up and be counted, tell the truth and carry on. If police officers fell to pieces or resigned when operations didn’t go well, it wouldn’t send out a good message.’ 

In 2014 Dame Cressida was an assistant commissioner during the creation of Operation Midland – the Met’s investigation into spurious VIP child sex abuse allegations. 

Innocent men, including the late Lord Brittan and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, were pursued by the force.

The Met’s star witness ‘Nick’ was later revealed to be serial liar Carl Beech. 

In 2017 Dame Cressida was criticised for her choice of words after she said the victims of the London Bridge terror attack demonstrated London’s ‘diversity’.

The officer added: ‘We believe, of course, that that’s what makes our city so great. It’s a place where the vast majority of time it’s incredibly integrated and that diversity gives us strength.’  

In 2019 the Met under Dame Cressida’s leadership was widely criticised for its ‘light-touch’ policing of Extinction Rebellion protests. 

The environmental demonstrators were allowed to blockade key areas of the capital for days, including Westminster Bridge and Oxford Circus.

Dame Cressida has faced a particularly difficult 2021. She faced huge pressure to resign over the Met’s handling of a vigil in memory to murdered Sarah Everard – who was raped and murdered by serving officer Wayne Couzens.

Women were pushed to the floor and arrested after being asked to leave the area due to Covid rules – leading to accusations of ‘heavy-handedness’.

Police were later exonerated in a watchdog report.

However the pressure mounted again last month when  a damning inquiry into the 1987 murder of a private investigator who was looking into bent cops branded her force ‘institutionally corrupt’ and condemned her for blocking the gathering of evidence.

She said it was a ‘matter of great regret that no one has been brought to justice’ in the case of Daniel Morgan, who was killed with an axe to the head in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south-east London.

But she refused to resign over the matter, despite calls from Mr Morgan;s family to consider her position.  

The force has also been deemed ‘institutionally corrupt’ by an independent panel investigating police inquiries into the unsolved murder in the 1980s of a private detective.

Additionally, teenager murders are hurtling towards a 13-year high as sources close to Dame Cressida said she remained committed to driving down youth violence – her supposed priority when she became the Met’s first female commissioner in 2017.

Nearly two dozens teenagers have died this year and the easing of lockdown has seen a spike in violent crimes.

Sources told the Times there will be informal discussions next month and the formal process will only begin if she receives an indication the Government wishes for her to stay.

Without such an indication, she will be expected to resign.

The Home Secretary Priti Patel makes the appointment, taking into consideration any recommendation from Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, who oversees the day-to-day of the Met. 

It comes after a difficult year for the force, which has faced a barrage of criticism – and calls for Ms Dick to resign – over its handling of a vigil in memory of Miss Everard.

Hundreds of women turned out to Clapham Common to pay their respects to the marketing manager after she was raped and murdered by a serving police officer.

But some were pinned down to the floor and arrested after police urged the group – mainly consisting of young women – to leave the area. 

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Democracy and the Constitution (APPGDC) later said police had breached ‘fundamental rights’ in their handling of the vigil.

But a report by watchdog, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, found that Metropolitan Police officers were not heavy-handed at the event on March 13 – a decision which again drew criticism from the women involved.  

Last month Dame Cressida apologised but is refusing to resign after a damning inquiry into the 1987 murder of a private investigator who was looking into bent cops branded her force ‘institutionally corrupt’ and condemned her for blocking the gathering of evidence.

She said it was a ‘matter of great regret that no one has been brought to justice’ in the case of Daniel Morgan, who was killed with an axe to the head in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south-east London.

A report into the matter revealed that officers who took bungs in brown envelopes, ‘moonlighted’ in other jobs and sold lucrative information to criminals may have scuppered the probe into Mr Morgan’s murder.

Officers were even paid not to arrest criminals who controlled their superiors, who also demanded 10 per cent of detectives’ overtime and expenses payments each month, it was claimed.

And bent cops may have sunk the investigation having ‘thought that their police careers and pensions were under threat’ and that ‘future, potentially lucrative corrupt practices’ would be stopped, today’s report says.

Despite five police inquiries and an inquest, no-one has been brought to justice over the father-of-two’s death, with the Metropolitan Police admitting corruption had hampered the original murder investigation. 

Perhaps the most damaging blot on her card however is that of the shambolic Operation Midland – the Met’s £1milliion investigation into spurious VIP child sex abuse allegations.

Innocent men, including the late Lord Brittan and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, were pursued by the force in a probe sanctioned in 2014 while Dame Cressida was an assistant commissioner.

The Met’s star witness ‘Nick’ was later revealed to be serial liar Carl Beech – who was jailed after police investigating his claims discovered his deceit. 

Dame Cressida later apologised to those caught up in the investigation, including Lady Brittan – who called on the commissioner to take responsibility for the force’s failings.

Wayne Couzens' ex-colleagues at the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC), where the 48-year-old joined in March 2011, reportedly nicknamed him 'The Rapist

Wayne Couzens' ex-colleagues at the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC), where the 48-year-old joined in March 2011, reportedly nicknamed him 'The Rapist

He was said to be given the nickname because he made some female officers feel uncomfortable

He was said to be given the nickname because he made some female officers feel uncomfortable

Wayne Couzens’ ex-colleagues at the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC), where the 48-year-old (pictured left and right) joined in March 2011, reportedly nicknamed him ‘The Rapist’ because he made some female officers feel uncomfortable

Couzens has pleaded guilty to murdering 33-year-old Ms Everard (pictured above) after snatching her off the street while she walked home from a friend's house in Clapham in March

Couzens has pleaded guilty to murdering 33-year-old Ms Everard (pictured above) after snatching her off the street while she walked home from a friend's house in Clapham in March

Couzens has pleaded guilty to murdering 33-year-old Ms Everard (pictured above) after snatching her off the street while she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham in March

Daniel Morgan, pictured, was investigating claims of corruption within the Metropolitan Police when he was murdered in 1987 - and the force failed him and his family ever since

Daniel Morgan, pictured, was investigating claims of corruption within the Metropolitan Police when he was murdered in 1987 - and the force failed him and his family ever since

His brother Alastair told the media today that Cressida Dick should resign

His brother Alastair told the media today that Cressida Dick should resign

Daniel Morgan, pictured, was investigating claims of corruption within the Metropolitan Police when he was murdered in 1987 – and the force failed him and his family ever since. His brother Alastair told the media that Cressida Dick should resign

Despite the criticism, Dame Cressida does also have her backers. She has regularly received public backing from Home Secretary – even amid reports of wavering support. 

Dame Cressida has won praise as the first ever female commissioner of the Met and is said to be popular among rank-and-file officers. 

And she has managed to ride-out the controversies which have mounted up across her 40-year career – winning praise for her resilience in the process.  

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