Cressida Dick given guard of honour despite Met Police’s homophobia and racism scandal
Cressida Dick was given a guard of honour by officers ahead of her last day as the Metropolitan Police commissioner despite the force’s horrific homophobia and racism scandals.
Dick stepped down from the post in February after a damning report from England’s police watchdog exposed a troubling pattern of homophobia and bullying within the Met. The report also detailed how homophobic, racist, misogynist and violent comments made by officers were dismissed as “laddish banter”.
She said she initially had “no intention” of standing down after the scandal despite the fact she had been placed “on notice” by the mayor of London Sadiq Khan. But Dick changed her mind and admitted in a statement that Khan’s scepticism in her ability to lead the force left her “no choice” but to resign early.
Dick was given a guard of honour by officers lined up on the steps outside of the Met’s headquarters in London on Friday (8 April). The outdoing Met commissioner was met with applause by dozens of colleagues as she walked out of Scotland Yard, and she even hugged a young child on her way out.
Speaking at the launch of Labour’s local election campaign in north London, Khan said he is not “going to hide from the fact” he lost confidence in Cressida Dick, whose last day is on Sunday (8 April).
“I’m not going to hide from the fact that we’ve had in our city a series of devastating scandals, overt racism, sexism, discrimination, homophobia, we’ve had trust and confidence from Londoners in the police service at rock bottom,” Khan said.
He added that this was “one of the reasons why I lose confidence in her”. Khan said he will be asking the next commissioner how they “will address some of these serious issues that, frankly speaking, the current commissioner failed to address”.
Several people on social media criticised the Met for holding a ceremony for the embattled outgoing commissioner.
weird spectacle for somebody who's just been forced to resign in disgrace after presiding over a series of horrific scandals in an organisation notoriously plagued by corruption and institutionalised racism https://t.co/QUJEUVmgNg
— Archie Woodrow (@Archimbaldo) April 8, 2022
Met still intent on insulting Londoners, then https://t.co/rJ9LFrDK9x
— Jonn Elledge (@JonnElledge) April 8, 2022
I feel physically sick watching people salute and clap for Cressida Dick on her way out. The shame of it.
— Patsy Stevenson (@PatsyeStevenson) April 8, 2022
Cressida Dick will not be missed.
— Glen Mitchell 🇺🇦 🐝 🌹🌈 (@GlenMitchell1) April 8, 2022
If you needed anymore evidence that the Met needs to be dismantled, this is it. Absolute delusion. https://t.co/BnT8fhLBG1
— ☭ Will ☭ (@WillJSlater) April 8, 2022
What the Met does with people who were forced to resign in disgrace after presiding over the most toxic, racist, misogynist culture in the Met for decades…
— The Prole Star (@TheProleStar) April 8, 2022
Seeing Cressida Dick clapped out of her position made me feel a bit sick. Should've been led out with her head down, in disgrace.
— Daniel Falconer (@DanielJFalconer) April 8, 2022
Dick admitted in February that “nasty” racism, homophobia, sexism and prejudice had “tarnished” the reputation of the Met. She also said that a “depressing number of shameful cases” in the recent past threatened “public trust, confidence and consent”.
In a farewell letter to London before her last day in post, Cressida Dick warned against the “politicisation of policing”, which she believes is a “threat not just to policing but to trust in the whole justice system”.
Dick argued in her letter, which was published by the Evening Standard, that “operational independence from local and central government” is “crucial” for an “effective democracy”.
She also acknowledged the “criticism” that the Met Police faces and knew that “not everyone has confidence in us to provide a good service when they need us”. Dick said the force has “seen among us those whose horrific actions have let you all, and us, down so terribly”.
“Each one drives us to get better, to root out those who don’t uphold our standards and don’t deserve to wear our uniform,” she wrote. “To improve our response so all our communities feel protected by us.”
Dick will be taking unused annual leave after her last day in post on Sunday, making her final day of employment 24 April.
Deputy commissioner Sir Stephen House will temporarily serve as acting commissioner while the recruitment process is underway.