In Brief

Cressida Dick appointed first female Scotland Yard commissioner

First woman to take control of force in 188 years is 'thrilled and humbled' by the 'amazing opportunity'

Former national counter-terrorism chief Cressida Dick will be the next commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, becoming the first woman to take charge of the London force in its 188 years.

She will replace Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, who has spent more than five years in office.

Dick, who has worked for the Foreign Office since leaving the force in 2015, said she was "thrilled and humbled", calling the role a "great responsibility and an amazing opportunity".

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "Cressida Dick is an exceptional leader and has a clear vision for the future of the Metropolitan Police and an understanding of the diverse range of communities it serves."

Dick's rise to the top of London's police force comes despite the controversy around her role in the operation that led to the 2005 killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, who was shot dead by a police officer after being mistaken for a suicide bomber, reports The Guardian.

While the force as an organisation was found guilty of breaching health and safety laws, the jury said Dick herself should not be held culpable, a decision upheld by the European Court of Human Rights last year.

Dick, who has a degree from Oxford University and a masters in criminology from Cambridge, joined the Met in 1983 and held the post of national lead for counter-terrorism for three years, during which she led the London Olympics security operation in 2012. She retired as the Met's assistant commissioner for specialist operations in 2015.

Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, described her as a popular choice among rank and file officers.

He said: "This is one of the most significant roles in British policing and with it comes significant responsibility, not just in the public's eyes but in those of the staff and officers looking for strong, resilient leadership at a time of significant ongoing change across the service." 

The Met is Britain's biggest force, taking up about a quarter of the money spent on policing in England and Wales. It was founded in 1829 and has national functions including counter-terrorism and diplomatic and VIP protection, as well as covering London.

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