London: Cressida Dick was named the new commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police on Wednesday, the first woman to lead Scotland Yard in its 188-year history.
Dick, a former assistant commissioner of the force, succeeds Bernard Hogan-Howe, who is stepping down next week. The Met is Britain’s biggest and oldest police force, with 43,000 officers. Home secretary Amber Rudd said that 56-year-old Dick “has a clear vision for the future of the Metropolitan Police and an understanding of the diverse range of communities it serves”. Dick, who left the police force in 2015 to work at the foreign office, led the security operation for the 2012 London Olympics and was highly regarded by many Scotland Yard peers.
She had drawn criticism for commanding an operation after the July 2005 London bombings in which a Brazilian man, Jean Charles de Menezes, was shot after being mistaken for a suicide bomber. A jury cleared Dick of blame but relatives of de Menezes’ had called for her not to be given the top job at Scotland Yard.
The family of de Menezes said they had “serious concerns” about the appointment. “The message is that police officers can act with impunity,” they said.