Following the kidnap, rape, and murder trial and conviction of Metropolitan police officer Wayne Couzens, national rage and uproar ensued. Many are calling for the resignation of Dame Cressida Dick, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan police.
Cressida Dick was appointed to the role in 2017, making her the first female, as well as the highest-ranked lesbian officer in UK police history. However, her tenure as commissioner has not been without controversy.
An example of her questionable leadership would be her co-signing the ‘stop and search’ tactics used by the Met police, despite the outpour of criticism from those most likely to be stopped and search.
In essence, the ‘stop and search’ tactic allows police the power to search any person, place, or thing that they deem to be suspicious. Many people of colour, most notably black people, found they were stopped many more times than white people and felt racially profiled.
Despite these criticisms, Dick defended the policing tactic, stating that through it, they were able to remove “hundreds and hundreds” of knives from the streets.
After the murder of Sarah Everard, the Met were criticised not only for employing an officer with the ability to commit the worst possible crimes, but because of the Met’s response.
Many were left stunned by the police’s handling of a vigil held for Sarah Everard in Clapham Common last spring. Met police officers were photographed pushing and grabbing women engaging in a peaceful tribute to the marketing executive.
Dick defended the actions of the officers, although did comment that an an all-woman police unit was considered.
However, during the height of the BLM protests following the police murder of George Floyd, Dick made a pledge to increase the number of ethnic minority police officers – especially black people, to “increase their trust” in the Met.
As well as this, in 2018, Dick launched an initiative to have at least 50% of women making up the Met police force.
Recommended Reading: Sarah Everard and the Met Police Failure
Despite the positive impact of employing more people of colour and women, the main critique the public have of Cressida Dick is that her responses to controversy are tone-deaf and lacking in holding, not only herself, but the Metropolitan police to account.
This feeling has many people arguing, therefore, that Dick should resign as commissioner. The murder, kidnap, and rape of Sarah Everard has created an irreparable rift between the leadership and the British public.