Cressida Dick

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Person.png Cressida Dick   History Commons PowerbaseRdf-icon.png
(police officer)
Cressida Dick.jpg
Born 1960-10-16
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
Nationality British
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford

Met Commissioner Eppaulette.svg Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
10 April 2017 - Present

Employment.png Director General

In office
January 2015 - April 2017
Employer Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Met Dep Commissioner Epaulette.svg Acting Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
8 November 2011 - 23 January 2012
Preceded by Tim Godwin
Succeeded by Craig Mackey

In January 2015, Britain’s most senior female police officer, Cressida Dick, left the Metropolitan Police Service after 31 years, having climbed the ranks from beat bobby to national counter-terrorism chief and having been in charge of the Met’s response to 9/11, the 7/7 bombings and the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.[1]

FCO Director General

Cressida Dick joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 19 January 2015 but her new role was shrouded in intense secrecy.

In response to Freedom of Information Act requests from The Intercept, the Foreign Office repeatedly declined to disclose even the most basic details about Dick’s position. Government officials handling the FOIA requests said that members of the public were not entitled to know anything about Dick’s job title, role and responsibilities, or the amount of money she was earning – despite the fact that specific salaries earned by senior Foreign Office officials, as well as their job titles, were usually routinely made available online.

In two separate refusal letters issued in February and March 2015, the Foreign Office said that it would not hand over the information because it relates to “bodies dealing with security matters,” and so the government was “not obliged to consider the public interest in disclosure.” It would acknowledge only that Dick has been appointed in a “director general” position.[2]

Met Police Commissioner

In February 2017, Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced the appointment of Cressida Dick as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police upon the retirement of Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe[3]:

“I am delighted Her Majesty has agreed my recommendation after a rigorous recruitment process which highlighted the quality of senior policing in this country."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said:

"Cressida Dick will be the first female Commissioner of the Met in its 187-year history, and the most powerful police officer in the land."

The appointment was criticised by the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian man who was killed after the 7/7 London bombings, when he was mistakenly identified as a terror suspect during an operation Cressida Dick led in 2005 as national policing lead on counter-terrorism. A jury later found there was “no personal culpability for Commander Dick”.[4]

First day

Cressida Dick's first day as Metropolitan Police Commissioner on Monday 10 April 2017 coincided with the funeral at Southwark Cathedral of Police Constable Keith Palmer who was stabbed to death by Khalid Masood on 22 March 2017.[5]

Yvonne Fletcher

On 16 May 2017, Metropolitan police detectives announced for reasons of "national security" that it had been decided WPC Yvonne Fletcher's alleged murderer, Saleh Ibrahim Mabrouk, would not be taken to court. Senior policing sources told The Telegraph that the case against Mabrouk – a former minister in Muammar Gaddafi’s government and a high-ranking member of the team tasked by the regime with suppressing opposition – was dropped after a decision taken at the “highest level”. The source added: “Number 10 was involved.”[6]

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said:

“I cannot comment on the details of this case. I would however like to acknowledge the hard work and commitment the Metropolitan police have shown over a prolonged period of time to bring to justice those involved in the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher.
“WPC Fletcher was one of their own. Her murder remains as shocking and senseless as the day it occurred and I understand that the decision will be deeply disappointing and frustrating for all her family, friends and colleagues.”[7]

Manchester Arena bombing

On 22 May 2017, Libyan Salman Abedi carried out a suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena at the end of a concert by Ariana Grande killing 22 people and injuring 119.

On 30 May 2017, Jonathan Cook published an article entitled "MI6, Theresa May and the Manchester attack" in which he wrote of the "close ties between the British spy agency MI6 and UK-based Libyans, most of them from Manchester. Back in the late 1990s, MI6 effectively sponsored their trips overseas to become fighters against Muammar Gaddafi. They came to be known as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, or LIFG. And here’s the rub. Because when MI6 began funnelling British-Libyan fighters to Libya in 2011, Theresa May was Home Secretary. May must have known of the MI6 policy and doubtless approved it."[8]

In November 2017 Westminster Magistrates Court issued an arrest warrant for Hashem Abedi, brother of the bomber Salman Abedi, and prosecutors have asked Libya to extradite him to face 22 counts of murder in the UK. Hashem Abedi is being held by Libya’s Special Deterrence Force, a Tripoli-based militia with close ties to Abdelhakim Belhadj, an Islamist extremist who is currently suing MI6 and former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.[9]



References