Cressida Dick will lead Met Police until 2024, Priti Patel confirms

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Cressida Dick will lead Met Police until 2024, Priti Patel confirms
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Dame Cressida Dick will continue to lead the Metropolitan Police Service until 2024, Priti Patel has confirmed.

The extension means Dame Cressida will continue as Commissioner until April 2024. Earlier this week The Standard exclusively reported Dame Cressida was to be offered a two-year extension to her contract.

The Home Secretary said the extension “will provide continuity and stability as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and recruit 20,000 additional police officers”.

“Londoners know there is more to do to keep our capital safe, including by driving down violent crime, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Commissioner and Mayor of London to protect the public.”

Mayor Sadiq Khan said he supported the extension as it provided “experienced and strong leadership we need as our city emerges from the pandemic”.

“The Met Commissioner has the most difficult policing job in the country, overseeing the safety of more than ten million people living, working and visiting our global city.

“The last four-and-a-half years have also presented significant additional challenges for the Met, including terror attacks, the tragedy of Grenfell Tower, rising public order incidents and policing challenging Covid-19 restrictions.”

A number of high-profile figures had this week signed an open letter to the Prime Minister accusing Dame Cressida of “presiding over a culture of incompetence and cover-up” after reports she had been offered a two-year extension to her contract.

However, Dame Cressida said she was “immensely honoured and humbled” to have been asked to extend her time as Commissioner.

“I am proud to continue to serve my city.

“I look forward to continuing to work with my dedicated, courageous colleagues and the public to create an even more visible, stronger and professional Met.

“I’d like to thank the Mayor, the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister for the confidence they have shown in me. I am acutely aware that there are many excellent leaders in policing.

“Londoners have my word that I will keep working as hard as I can for them and for this wonderful city that I love. I take the responsibilities I have been entrusted with extremely seriously.”

Earlier, the Metropolitan Police Federation has backed Dame Cressida Dick following calls from critics for her to be replaced.

In a statement, the federation said it "fully supports" the contract extension, adding: "It is easy to comment and criticise from the sidelines."

The statement said: "Whilst the federation does not always agree with the commissioner - the same goes for anyone who holds that post - we think she is doing a good job in difficult circumstances.

"Many of the voices we hear calling for the commissioner to go are the same ones who, following the Clapham Common vigil earlier this year, rounded on our colleagues criticising their work.

"They were, of course, proven to be completely wrong when Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary looked at the policing of the event.

"We have worked with this commissioner for a number of years now and believe she is still the best candidate for the role.

"We know her to be an ethical, courageous and highly competent police leader who genuinely cares about London, its citizens and her officers."

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