Why has Cressida Dick resigned as Metropolitan Police Commissioner?

The first female officer to lead Britain's largest police force has submitted her notice

Why has Cressida Dick resigned as Metropolitan Commissioner
(Image credit: Getty)

Cressida Dick has resigned as Metropolitan Police Commissioner after losing the support of London Mayor, Sadiq Khan. 

The first woman to head Britain's largest police force has officially quit, citing an inability to continue her duties in light of mounting pressure. 

In a statement issued on 10 February, the senior police officer said that the Mayor of London had left her with 'no choice but to step aside as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service' after it became 'clear' he lacked 'sufficient confidence in my leadership to continue.' 

Commissioner Dick has agreed, at Sadiq Khan's request, to remain in the leadership role until 'arrangements are made for a transition to a new Commissioner.' In the meantime, Home Secretary Priti Patel has been tasked with the challenging job of filling Cressida's position with a suitable replacement. She has yet to appoint a new Commissioner, but has said that "strong and decisive new leadership will be required to restore public confidence". 

Cressida Dick and Sadiq Khan

Cressida Dick said it was 'clear' that London Mayor Sadiq Khan had lost confidence in her 

(Image credit: Getty)

Why has Cressida Dick resigned? 

Cressida Dick has resigned after pressure related to a slew of controversies during her tenure. 

The police officer faced heavy criticism for her performance as Met Commissioner over the past five years, with calls for her to quit reaching a boiling point in 2021. Dick was widely condemned for her handling of a number of incidents at the height of the pandemic, prompting many to doubt her capability as leader of the 43,571-strong force. 

In March 2021, her force came under fire after Sarah Everard was murdered by Wayne Couzens, a serving member of the Metropolitan Police. Investigations into the horrific incident led to revelations that concerns had been raised about Couzens, who was nicknamed 'The Rapist' by his previous colleagues, as early as 2015. 

Cressida Dick

(Image credit: Getty)

The Met's statements in the days following the murder, which included recommendations that people should consider "waving a bus down" or "running into a house" if they felt unsafe, received strong backlash—with many pointing out that these tactics would not have worked in the case of Sarah Everard. 

The Met was further criticized for their response to the Sarah Everard vigil at Clapham Common, which saw them arresting attendees and using force to break up the crowds. 

Sarah Everard vigil

The Met's actions at the Sarah Everard vigil at Clapham Common were widely condemned 

(Image credit: Hollie Adams / Stringer / Getty Images)

In June 2021, the Met was accused of 'institutional corruption' in a report on the 1987 murder of Daniel Morgan. The inquiry revealed that the force's initial investigation into the private detective's killing—which remains unsolved—had "multiple very significant failings." 

The Met was again shown to be negligent in its investigations in December 2021, after an inquest into the Stephen Port murders found that the force had missed repeated opportunities to catch the serial killer. 

In February 2022, a police watchdog investigation into the Met found that several Scotland Yard officers had engaged in inappropriate behavior at work. The Independent Office for Police Conduct uncovered large quantities of evidence of racism, sexism, ableism, and harassment—resulting in one officer being fired and others being disciplined. 

Dick has also been charged with failing to take action on the so-called Downing Street parties, which notoriously broke Covid rules in 2020 and 2021. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.