Dame Cressida Dick, Britain’s top police officer, resigned on Thursday, hours after telling reporters she had “absolutely no intention” of quitting. Dick became Metropolitan Police Commissioner in 2017.
His decision was prompted by the Labor Party Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, telling him he was “unhappy” with his plans to tackle “racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying, discrimination and misogyny in the police force”, after a recent scandal involving London officers. joking about beating their wives, raping and killing black children.
Dick released a statement saying “it is clear that the mayor no longer has enough faith in my leadership to continue. He left me no choice but to step down.
Khan pulled the trigger following a buildup of discontent in the ruling class over the commissioner’s performance. Dick was an utterly loyal and ruthless servant of the British state, who in 2005 led the operation that murdered an innocent man, Jean Charles de Menezes, following the July 21 bomb attacks in London. She instituted armed foot patrols, was a strong advocate for stop and search and the use of facial recognition systems, and led mass arrests of Extinction Rebellion climate protesters.
She was also incompetent and a walking PR disaster. There were very few crises facing the Met that she failed to ignite.
His tenure was embodied after the murder of Sarah Everard last March by Met Police officer Wayne Couzens, dubbed “the rapist” by his colleagues. The Met responded by suggesting that women arrested by plainclothes police defy them and consider “waving at a bus” if they feel unsafe.
A vigil held for Everard on Clapham Common was abruptly interrupted by a crowd of police, just an hour after Prince William’s wife Kate Middleton laid flowers at the site in an attempt to ease tensions.
Three months later, Dick was personally censured for obstructing a report on the 1987 murder of Daniel Morgan, which exposed a cesspool of police corruption. The case may have been linked to that of Stephen Lawrence, killed in a racist murder in 1993, effectively covered up by the Met. Dick closed the case in August 2020, with three of the killers still at large. In 2012, she ended the work of Clive Driscoll who had brought two of the murderers to justice.
Each incident further eroded the tarnished reputation of the Metropolitan Police, a key pillar of the British state, earning Dick the enmity of most of the political establishment.
Nazir Afzal, former chief prosecutor of the Crown Prosecution Service, is quoted in the I newspaper as saying that Dick’s career has been marked by a “catalogue of blunders”. The newspaper explains that Afzal “spent three decades trying to restore faith in law and order after allegations of corruption involving several high-profile miscarriages of justice and in the wake of the murder of Stephen Lawrence. He claimed last month that Dame Cressida is ‘undoing all that painstaking work’.
the Daily Mail wrote: “By any reasonable measure, his tenure was a catastrophic failure. She oversaw cover-ups, demonstrated incompetence, and entrenched public desperation and distrust.
Even the BBC reported: “Cressida Dick’s career has seen her weather a number of storms that would have sunk many others. Allegations of an unholy trinity of dishonesty, bias and incompetence dogged the Met for most of his tenure.
Much of the commentary pointed to Dick’s failure to address racism and misogyny in policing as the reason for his departure and questioned whether his replacement can address “deep-rooted cultural issues.” This is all so blabla. While they would no doubt prefer an operation that is less often embarrassing, few of these commentators have any illusions about the type of people responsible for repressing dissent and the consequences of poverty and social inequality.
The real concerns driving the outcry against the former commissioner were summed up by the Guardian is Marina Hyde. Also referring to the ‘partygate’ scandal which seized Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s premiership, she wrote that there is something ‘increasingly dangerous about ordinary people thinking:’ If I behaved like the prime minister or those police officers, I would be fired.” Trust is the hardest thing to regain, and trust in the police and politicians is clearly on the wane.
Hyde’s comment echoes Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer’s invocation of Margaret Thatcher against Johnson last week: “The first duty of government is to uphold the law. If he tries to fuss and sneak around and get around this duty when it doesn’t suit him, if the government does it, then the governed will do it too.
As the Socialist Equality Party explained, “Preventing opposition from growing among ‘the governed’ is the overriding political imperative” of Labor and the Conservatives. The same goes for the Met.
Under conditions where the UK is helping lead the US war campaign against Russia in Europe and heading for the worst collapse in living standards in recent memory amid an unchecked pandemic, growing sentiment in the media and political circles was that Dick was not in place at work. The record of his successor was most starkly stated in the Daily Mailwhose editorial yesterday demanded: “Needed – a sensible cop to stop the decline”.
Those approached to replace her show what we can expect. The favourite, although considered out of favor in Downing Street, is Neil Basu, until recently head of the counter-terror police. He rose to public prominence in 2019 by threatening journalists who publish leaked information with criminal charges.
After UK Ambassador to the US Sir Kim Darroch’s candid assessments of the Trump administration were published in the Mail on SundayBasu warned that the Counter-Terrorism Command would investigate alleged violations of the Official Secrets Act, telling the leaker, “Surrender at the first opportunity, explain yourself and face the consequences.”
He also threatened journalists: “The publication of leaked communications, knowing the damage they have caused or are likely to cause, may also constitute a criminal matter.
“I would advise all social media and mainstream media owners, writers and publishers not to post any leaked government documents that may already be in their possession or offered to them, and to turn them over to the police or turn them over. to their rightful owner, Her Majesty’s Government.
the To post describes Basu as “highly regarded within the force and by MI5 intelligence officials”.
Two other possible replacements, Matt Jukes and Mark Rowley, also served as heads of the counter-terrorism unit. Rowley is a frequent contributor to the conservative think tank, the Policy Exchange. Another candidate, Martin Hewitt, is a former army lieutenant.
Simon Byrne, Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, is pictured by the Guardian as a “candidate of shock and awe”. He caused controversy in 2019 for posting a “Christmas Day message” on Twitter with a photo of him standing next to officers armed with machine guns outside a heavily fortified police station in County Armagh, Ireland North.
The final decision on the appointment will be made by Home Secretary Priti Patel, who will be looking for someone to enforce his Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill criminalizing protest and deportation regime wild. the To post sources report saying she could “go overseas with the senior Tory figure known to have scoured Australia for a no-frills police chief.”
As illustrated by the crisis facing the government and now the Met, in the face of a social explosion, the capitalist state is using a series of scandals in its upper echelons to prepare for major confrontations with the working class.