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Met Police announce new Deputy Commissioner who wants force ‘judged on actions, not words’

Dame Lynne Owens at New Scotland Yard  (Metropolitan Police)
Dame Lynne Owens at New Scotland Yard (Metropolitan Police)

Dame Lynne Owens has been appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service as the force tries to win back public trust following a series of scandals.

Dame Lynne, 54, was previously the head of the National Crime Agency before stepping down in 2021 to focus on her treatment for breast cancer.

Her appointment was confirmed by King Charles after a recommendation by the Home Secretary and support from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.

Scotland Yard said Dame Lynne has spent more than 32 years working in policing and national security, including leadership roles at the highest level.

She has held the interim position of deputy commissioner for six months while a recruitment process is run.

Her permanent appointment is the most senior in a raft of leadership updates to the top tier of the Metropolitan Police Service as it delivers its Turnaround Plan - a two-year target to restore standards and trust in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard by armed officer Wayne Couzens and repeated chances to stop serial rapist PC David Carrick.

Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said: “The breadth of skills and experience that Dame Lynne Owens brings to the role of Deputy Commissioner are unrivalled.

“Not only is she known for her leadership in community policing as Chief Constable of Surrey Police, she has also led the UK’s fight against the most complex serious and organised crime as Director General of the National Crime Agency.

“I am grateful that she stepped forward to work with me on leading the Met towards reform at this most difficult time.

“She is an exceptional leader and I am excited to continue working closely with her as we deliver for London.”

Dame Lynne said: “I am pleased to return to policing to support Sir Mark, the wider leadership team and the hardworking officers, staff and volunteers of the Met in protecting and serving all of London’s communities.

“Our mission is clear and will continue to evolve as we listen to all. Now is the time to focus on delivering it. We should rightly be judged by our actions not our words.”

Dame Lynne Owens (PA Archive)
Dame Lynne Owens (PA Archive)

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: “Dame Lynne Owens brings decades of experience in law enforcement to the role and I am confident she is the right person to continue supporting Sir Mark through this challenging period.

“It is absolutely paramount that public trust in policing is restored and the Met shoulder much of this burden following recent events.

“I expect the leadership team to make sure the force is getting the basics right, preventing and solving burglaries, tackling knife crime and antisocial behaviour, and making streets safer for women and girls. I look forward to working together on this common goal.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “I welcome Dame Lynne Owens’ permanent appointment as Deputy Commissioner.

“Dame Lynne will bring to the role her extensive experience of policing and her commitment to ensuring Londoners continue to benefit from falling violent crime and see the urgent step-change in culture, standards and performance that is needed in the Met.

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with Dame Lynne and Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley to restore trust and confidence in the police and build on the progress we have made in reducing violence and crime, so that we can build a safer London for everyone.”