Cressida Dick REFUSES to stand down in defiant interview

‘I have NO intention of going’: Cressida Dick REFUSES to stand down and thinks she’s ‘leading a real transformation in the Met’ – and takes a shot at Sadiq Khan claiming he told her he’s ‘never had more confidence’ in the force

  • Under-fire Commissioner struck a defiant tone following the Mayor of London’s decision to ‘put her on notice’
  • Said the Charing Cross scandal had left her ‘seething angry’, but rejected numerous calls for her to step down 
  • Sought to change narrative around her leadership, which has come to be associated with a string of scandals
  • Also touched on ‘Partygate’ scandal, saying some of those involved ‘may well’ be handed fixed penalty notices

Cressida Dick today said she had ‘no intention of going’ and claimed to be ‘leading a real transformation’ at the Met – as she took a shot at Sadiq Khan by claiming he had recently told her he’s ‘never had more confidence’ in the force.

The under-fire Commissioner struck a defiant tone following repeated calls for her to quit, in addition to the Mayor of London’s decision to put her ‘on notice’ with ‘a matter of days and weeks’ to enact major changes.

Asked on BBC Radio London about her future, she said: ‘I have absolutely no intention of going and I believe that I am and have been, actually for the last five years, leading a real transformation in the Met.

‘We have a service now which is, I’m absolutely certain, more professional, fairer, more transparent, more accountable and closer to its communities and more effective in, for example, reducing violent crime, which has been going down year on year on year in almost every category, bucking the national trends.’

Yesterday, Mr Khan told of his dismay that nine out of 14 officers criticised in the watchdog probe into sickening racism and sexism at Charing Cross police station were still in their jobs – with two promoted.

Dame Cressida told the BBC she was ‘seeing angry’ about the scandal, adding: ‘I’m very glad that the four individuals have left. There is no place in the Met for sexism or racism or homophobia, for abuse of trust or for bullying, and in the last few days I have gone out extremely strongly to my colleagues and told them enough is enough.’

She called the Met ‘a fantastic police service’ but accepted its reputation had been ‘tarnished’ by Charing Cross and ‘other awful things have happened and come to light in the last several months’. She said she was ‘not complacent’ and there ‘probably will be’ more ’embarrassing or disgusting’ incidents involving officers. 

Yesterday, Mr Khan said he had held a series of robust meetings with Dame Cressida in which he warned her she risked being sacked if she failed to reveal a convincing plan to clean up her force.

But today the Commissioner struck a different tone, saying she had Met with both Mr Khan and Home Secretary Priti Patel three weeks ago, and that the Mayor said he’d ‘never had more confidence in the Met’s ability to deliver’.

Today’s interview will be seen as an attempt by Dame Cressida to change the narrative around her leadership, which has come to be defined by a string of scandals. These have ranged from the disastrous Operation Midland into fake VIP sex abuse claims to the killing of Sarah Everard and the jailing of two officers for taking pictures of the corpses of two murdered sisters. 

Cressida Dick (pictured today) struck a defiant tone following repeated calls for her to quit, in addition to the Mayor of London’s decision to put her ‘on notice’ with ‘a matter of days and weeks’ to enact major changes

The Mayor of London loaded yet more pressure onto Cressida Dick yesterday by giving her ‘days and weeks’ to turn the Met around 

Today, Dame Cressida also touched on Number 10’s ‘Partygate’ scandal, saying  some of those involved ‘may very well’ be handed fixed penalty notices.

She added she recognised the scandal had ‘hugely disgusted’ members of the public.

She said: ‘You may be aware that we are currently investigating, and I announced that a couple of weeks ago at the Police and Crime Committee.

String of disasters at the Met under Dame Cressida’s watch  

April 2017: Appointed as first female Metropolitan Police commissioner with a brief to modernise the force and keep it out of the headlines.

April 2019: Extinction Rebellion protesters bring London to a standstill over several days with the Met powerless to prevent the chaos. Dame Cressida says the numbers involved were far greater than expected and used new tactics but she admits police should have responded quicker.

September 2019: Her role in setting up of shambolic probe into alleged VIP child sex abuse and murder based on testimony from the fantasist Carl Beech (right) is revealed but she declines to answer questions.

2020: Official report into Operation Midland said Met was more interested in covering up mistakes than learning from them.

February 2021: Lady Brittan condemns the culture of ‘cover up and flick away’ in the Met and the lack of a moral compass among senior officers.

  • The same month a freedom of information request reveals an extraordinary spin campaign to ensure Dame Cressida was not ‘pulled into’ the scandal over the Carl Beech debacle.

March: Criticised for Met handling of a vigil for Sarah Everard, where officers arrested four attendees. Details would later emerge about how her killer, Wayne Couzens (right), used his warrant card to trick her into getting into his car. 

  • In the first six months of the year, London was on course for its worst year for teenage deaths – 30 – with knives being responsible for 19 out of the 22 killed so far. The youngest was 14-year-old Fares Matou, cut down with a Samurai sword. Dame Cressida had told LBC radio in May her top priority was tackling violent crime.

June: A £20million report into the Daniel Morgan murder brands the Met ‘institutionally corrupt’ and accuses her of trying to block the inquiry. Dame Cressida rejects its findings. Mr Morgan is pictured below. 

July: Police watchdog reveals three Met officers being probed over alleged racism and dishonesty.

  • The same month the Yard boss is at the centre of another storm after it emerged she was secretly referred to the police watchdog over comments she made about the stop and search of Team GB sprinter Bianca Williams. Dame Cressida is accused of pre-empting the outcome of an independent investigation.
  • Also in July she finds herself under fire over her woeful security operation at the Euro 2020 final at Wembley where fans without tickets stormed the stadium and others used stolen steward vests and ID lanyards to gain access.

August Dame Cressida facing a potential misconduct probe over her open support for Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Horne who could stand trial over alleged data breaches.

December: Two police officers who took pictures of the bodies of murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman (right) were jailed for two years and nine months each.

Pc Deniz Jaffer and Pc Jamie Lewis were assigned to guard the scene overnight after Ms Henry, 46, and Ms Smallman, 27, were found dead in bushes in Fryent Country Park, Wembley, north-west London. Instead, they breached the cordon to take photographs of the bodies, which were then shared with colleagues and members of the public on WhatsApp. 

 

December: Dame Cressida apologises to the family of a victim of serial killer Stephen Port (right). Officers missed several chances to catch him after he murdered Anthony Walgate in 2014. 

Dame Cressida – who was not commissioner at the time of the murder – told Mr Walgate’s mother: ‘I am sorry, both personally and on behalf of The Met — had police listened to what you said, things would have turned out a lot differently’.’

January 2022: She faces a barrage of fresh criticism for seeking to ‘muzzle’ Sue Gray’s Partygate report by asking her to make only ‘minimal’ references to parties the Met were investigating. 

February 2022: Details of messages exchanged by officers at Charing Cross Police Station, which included multiple references to rape, violence against women, racist and homophobic abuse, are unveiled in a watchdog report.

‘And you will also, perhaps, be aware that although I said we wouldn’t be giving a running commentary we would at significant moments update the public and yesterday, my investigators did put out an update to say that we will be writing with a questionnaire to over 50 people as as part of that investigation to ask them to account for what they were doing.

‘And clearly, some, but probably not all, of those people may very well end up with a ticket.’

Dame Cressida said she could not comment on whether officers at Downing Street knew about alleged parties. 

Sadiq Khan gave a series of interview about the state of the Met yesterday, where he laid out his demands for the changes he wants Dame Cressida to implement.  

He told Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘The first part of what I expect to see is – what is the response from the Commissioner as to how she intends to address the culture, address the situation, where too many police officers are behaving in a way that’s unacceptable?

‘And by the way, nine of those 14 police officers, you mentioned Charing Cross, are still serving.

‘And secondly, what is the plan to win back the trust and confidence in the public in relation to the police service that polices our capital city?’

He said this will be a matter of ‘days and weeks’.

Asked on Sky News what he would do if Dame Cressida failed to deliver on his two challenges, he said: ‘It’s very important for everyone to know that anyone who isn’t up to the standards I expect I’ll expect to go.’

Mr Khan who put Dame Cressida ‘on notice’ last week following the exposure of sickening messages about rape, ‘killing black children’, and ‘f****** gays’.

He said anyone ‘who has views or believes that it’s acceptable to behave in a way that’s racist, sexist, homophobic, in a discriminatory manner, does not belong in the police service’.

Fourteen officers were investigated by the watchdog, of whom two were found to have a case to answer for gross misconduct.

One was sacked and another resigned before he would have been dismissed.

Nine remain serving officers, while another is working as a contractor in a staff role.

Asked if all of those involved in the Charing Cross incident should be sacked, Mr Khan told Today: ‘I think Londoners can’t understand why nine of these 14 police officers are still serving.

‘I’ve asked that question.’

He also told the programme: ‘And by the way, I only discovered last week that two of them have been promoted.’

One of the officers disciplined for their behaviour has since been promoted from the rank of constable to sergeant, it emerged last week.  

She was found to have committed misconduct for failing to report wrongdoing, yet the Met told the Guardian the promotion went ahead anyway, telling the Guardian that the officer ‘attended a misconduct meeting and was given management action/advice about reporting wrongdoing’.

Another officer, whose disturbing messages formed part of the inquiry, threatened to murder a female colleague while under investigation for sexually harassing her.

James McLoughlin-Goodchild, a PC at Charing Cross, threatened to stab the woman and two other officers if they came to arrest him during a phone call with a sergeant to discuss an upcoming gross misconduct hearing.

A trial heard he said: ‘I will kill them, I will murder them if I see them, I know where they live and what cars they drive.

‘If they come to my home and arrest me they are going to get stabbed. I will not go to prison alive.’

The officer was found guilty of sending an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing communication after a trial at Hendon Magistrates Court in January 2019. He was handed a 12-month conditional discharge and an indefinite restraining order.

Meanwhile, new damning claims emerged last week about the behaviour of officers at Charing Cross, including allegations they  slept with female suspects and called black colleagues ‘monkeys’.

A ‘toxic’ culture existed at the station dating back to 2006, said the former constable, who asked to be referred to by her first name, Liz.

The ex-officer said there was an ‘awful’ atmosphere at the station where men had sex with women in bathrooms, ‘mercilessly bullied’ a colleague and made ‘cruel and sexual comments’ about women in the street while senior leaders stayed silent.

She said her male colleagues were like ‘kids in a candy store’ given the station’s proximity to ‘pubs, bars and party culture’, with one sergeant bragging about seeing his favourite Russian escort at Spearmint Rhino.

The IOPC watchdog said it would look into the shocking allegations. 

An officer who gave only her first name, Liz, told LondonWorld she witnessed appalling behaviour by male cops after graduating from Hendon Police College in the mid-noughties.

She moved to another station in a different borough after two years and is now a writer living in Perth, Australia.

She says she saw officers having sex down the station, caught a male cop in the act with someone he had arrested and she was victim to ‘countless propositioning from male colleagues.’

As the only woman in her team, she had to endure a night out at the Spearmint Rhino strip club where a sergeant bragged about having ‘his favourite Russian girl’.

On one occasion, she was sat in a carrier vehicle in Whitehall when all the male officers made lewd sexual comments about every woman that walked past.

Black officers were referred to as ‘monkeys’ and officers said ‘they better smile at night or we won’t see them’.

An autistic police community support officer was mercilessly bullied and ‘mindf***ed’ until he thought it was all part of him being ‘part of the team’, she claimed.

She said she knew the behaviour was wrong but did not know who to turn to, fearing bosses would turn a blind eye and she would be ostracised by colleagues.

Liz said: ‘It really was awful – toxic at worst. There is no exaggeration.

‘I knew I should say something but to who? My reaction was that I would be unsupported by colleagues in a job that depends on others if you face difficulty on patrol.

‘Senior leadership were silent – you never saw them. Inspectors were usually pretty absent* behaviour was overlooked.’ 


Met’s rotten culture: Pc Deniz Jaffer (left) and Pc Jamie Lewis (pictured left and right in November following their arrests), who took pictures of murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman

Liz said the station’s location at the heart of the capital contributed to the bad atmosphere. ‘It was like kids in a candy store, surrounded by bars, pubs and party culture,’ she said.    

Mr Khan also demanded Dame Cressida (left) reveal a plan to win back the confidence of the public. Pictured right: James McLoughlin-Goodchild, who served as a PC at Charing Cross police station and had a conviction for threatening to murder a female colleague. He has since been sacked 

Home Secretary Priti Patel has blamed ‘failures of leadership’ for the rotten culture at the Met, including by the commissioner herself. 

Last month, Dame Cressida revealed she considers resigning from her £230,000-a-year role ‘every few months’ but had never thought it necessary. 

She told students at a careers talk at Westminster School: ‘Every few weeks throughout my commissionership, I have sat down and reviewed whether I’m the right person to carry on.

‘I just think that’s good practice. I think, the implicit thing in your question was, has there been one thing where I’ve gone away and thought, ”Oh dear, I better resign”, or had a very serious conversation about ”is now the time to resign?”

‘The answer to that is no, I haven’t. But I absolutely listen to what’s out there.

‘We live at the moment in what I call the age of outrage: A time where people can get very whipped up or fevered about lots of things, and where it’s very, very noisy, but the trick, I think, as any senior leader is – and I hope this doesn’t sound arrogant – the trick is to be humble but to be personally confident.

‘And I thank my mum and my school for helping me to be reasonably personally confident.

‘To have really good antennae, really good whiskers, nose, ears, touch, and listen all the time to what’s going on out there.’ 

These are MailOnline mock-ups of WhatsApp conversations that were published in the IOPC report. Warning: Graphic language 

 

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