How much does Cressida Dick earn? Who is outgoing Met Police commissioner, salary and pension detail

Dame Cressida Dick has been commissioner of the Met Police since 2017, and faced calls to resign last year after the murder of Sarah Everard by Wayne Couzens

Dame Cressida Dick made history by becoming the first female to lead the Metropolitan Police - however she has faced a number of controversies during her career and tenure as commissioner.

More recently she defended her force’s handling of the Downing Street party claims as she confirmed an investigation has now been launched.

Last year there were calls for her to resign after Wayne Couzens, a serving Met officer raped and murdered Sarah Everard and on 10 February 2022, the commissioner stepped down from her role.

This is what you need to know about Dame Cressida Dick.

Met Police Chief commissioner Cressida Dick.

How long has she been commissioner and what is her salary?

She became the first woman to hold the post of commissioner in the almost 200 years since the force was formed. Dame Cressida was appointed in 2017, returning to the force after having retired in 2015 to take a job with the Foreign Office.

When her appointment was announced it was reported she had been offered £270,648 plus benefits, which was the same her predecessor, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

However, she turned this down opting to be paid £40,000 less at £230,000 a year.

One of her first engagements after taking up the role was attending the funeral of PC Keith Palmer, who was killed during the Westminster terror attack.

Her contract as commissioner was extended last year until 2024 but after a string of high profile scandals and questions around the culture of the force, Dame Cressida resigned from the post.

In a statement, she said that she came to her decision after it became clear that London Mayor Sadiq Khan “no longer have sufficient confidence” in her ability to lead the organisation.

Will Cressida Dick now get her police pension?

Upon taking the role of Met Police commissioner, Cressida Dick, then aged 56, was not able to withdraw from her police pension while she was in the job, under pensions regulations due to her receiving a salary.

What was she known for prior to becoming commissioner?

She first joined the Met in 1983, and was a senior officer with Thames Valley Police from 1995-2000, returning to the Met in 2001. She held a range of senior roles, including among others the anti-gang and anti-gun crime operations, and in counter terrorism operations.

In 2010 she was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service in the New Year Honours. She was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to policing. In September 2019, she was promoted to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE).

One of the more controversial points of her career was the 2005 operation she led which ended in the shooting and death of Jean Charles de Menezes - a Brazilian national who was wrongly identified as a potential suicide bomber in the aftermath of the July 2005 London terror attacks.

Mr de Menezes was shot at Stockwell Tube Station in South London. Dame Cressida was cleared of all blame by inquiries into the matter. Speaking to the Daily Mail in 2018 she said: “‘It was an appalling thing – an innocent man killed by police. Me in charge. Awful for the family and I was properly held to account. We learned every lesson that was to be learned.”

However in 2017 when she was appointed commissioner the de Menezes family said they had “serious concerns” about it.

The new Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick is the first woman to hold the most senior post in British policing, but she was also the public face of a tragic police mistake in 2005. Picture: PA Wire

What are some of the controversies she’s faced during her tenure?

There were calls for her to resign in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard by Wayne Couzens.

Armed officer Wayne Couzens used his police issue handcuffs and warrant card to stage the fake arrest of 33-year-old Ms Everard before he raped and murdered her.

After the killing it emerged that the 48-year-old was known as “the rapist” by staff at the Civil Nuclear Constabulary because he made female colleagues feel so uncomfortable.

Dame Cressida Dick called in an independent reviewer to look at the force’s culture and standards.

Speaking at the time she said: “These events have been absolutely dreadful. I speak for my colleagues when I say we are furious.

“We depend on the trust of the public, we police by consent and I know that public trust has been damaged.”

Meanwhile in 2019 she was referred to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) over her role in Operation Midland.

Operation Midland took place between November 2014 and March 2016.

She had been responsible for supervising the senior investigating officer who said allegations made by Carl Beech about a VIP child sex abuse by high-profile people – which were later shown to be false – were “credible and true”.

In 2020 the IOPC cleared Dame Cressida over complaints about her role in the investigation.

In February 2021, The IOPC published shocking racist, misogynistic and homophobic messages which had been sent between serving police officers at the Charing Cross station.

Their report found that such behaviour had been passed off as “banter” with the police watchdog describing the behaviour as “disgraceful”.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for urgent change within the force “to rebuild the trust and confidence of Londoners in the Met and to root out the racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying, discrimination and misogyny that still exists.”

He said: “I am not satisfied with the Commissioner’s response.

“On being informed of this, Dame Cressida Dick has said she will be standing aside. It’s clear that the only way to start to deliver the scale of the change required is to have new leadership right at the top of the Metropolitan Police.”

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has come under fire following the Sarah Everard murder by police officer Wayne Couzens. Credit: Ming Yeung/Getty Images

What has she said about the Downing Street parties probe?

The Met has come under pressure to explain how any gatherings were able to take place at a site with a heavy police presence.

Dame Cressida announced on Monday the force was investigating “a number of events” that had taken place in Downing Street and Whitehall over the last two years in relation to potential breaches of Covid-19 regulations.

At a session of the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee on Tuesday she said there were clear guidelines on when allegations of past breaches would be investigated.

They were only for “the most serious and flagrant type of breach” where there was evidence and three criteria were met.

Those three factors are: evidence that those involved “knew, or ought to have known that what they were doing was an offence”, where not investigating “would significantly undermine the legitimacy of the law” and “where there was little ambiguity around the absence of any reasonable defence”.

“So in those cases, where those criteria were met, the guidelines suggested that we should potentially investigate further and end up giving people tickets.”

But she added: “The fact that we are now investigating does not, of course, mean that fixed penalty notices will necessarily be issued in every instance and to every person involved.”

Asked whether any officers had expressed concern about the parties, Dame Cressida said police officers on site at Downing Street concentrate on “protective security”.

She said: “There are a number of officers posted in the surrounds of Downing Street and indeed what we call generally the government security zone.

“They have a very clear role and that is protective security.”

She insisted her force impartial and independent, saying: “We police impartially and we police in an operationally independent manner.”

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