Dame Cressida Dick has announced that she will be stepping down from her position as Metropolitan Police Commissioner, having been left “no choice” after meeting with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
In 2017, she became the first woman to be appointed as the Commissioner, and subsequently became the highest ranking openly gay officer in British police history.
This is what you need to know about her partner Helen - and how long they have been together.
Who is Helen?
Not much is known about Helen as she and Dick have kept their personal life out of the spotlight.
In 2018, Dick told the Daily Mail that Helen was “a duty inspector in a busy London borough”.
She added: “It was a big, demanding job - she loved it and I am biased, of course, but she was really good at it.”
Helen retired from the police force in 2017, the same year that Dick was appointed as the Met Commissioner.
She is not to be confused with the Helen Ball who is currently the Assistant Commissioner for Professionalism with the Met Police.
Are they married?
The two don’t appear to be officially married, with Dick describing Helen as her “partner” rather than her wife.
It is unclear as to whether the two have had a civil partnership.
How long have they been together?
The two have been together for roughly eight years. It has been reported that the two were colleagues for a number of years before they got together.
Speaking to BBC Desert Island Discs in 2019, Dick said: “Sometimes people say to me that they think [my sexuality] it’s important, but to be honest, for me, I think it’s one of the least interesting things about me.”
She added: “I happen to love Helen - she’s my partner. On we go.”
Dick has also said that there are “advantages and disadvantages” of having a partner within the same profession.
She said: “The downside is that if you’re not careful, you talk about [work] at home, which isn’t healthy. But the advantage is, I’m lucky, well supported, and she understands if No 10 is on the phone, I have to take the call.”
Has Cressida Dick resigned as Metropolitan Police Commissioner?
Dick has resigned from her position as the Metropolitan Police Commissioner after losing the backing of London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
The commissioner faced a series of scandals during her time leading Britain’s biggest police force – most recently concerning violently racist, misogynist and homophobic messages exchanged by officers based at Charing Cross police station that were published by a watchdog.
There was also fury over the rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving officer, as well as the force’s actions following her death in tackling a vigil held in her memory during coronavirus restrictions.
Additionally, clumsy advice telling women in trouble to flag down a passing bus later had to be retracted following severe backlash.
It is understood Cressida submitted a plan for reforming the force, but Khan did not think it met what was required, and called her in for a meeting at 4.30pm on Thursday.
However she did not attend and submitted her resignation instead.
In a shock statement, Cressida announced she was stepping down from the job, despite hours earlier having insisted she had no intention of going.
She said: “It is with huge sadness that following contact with the Mayor of London today, it is clear that the mayor no longer has sufficient confidence in my leadership to continue.
“He has left me no choice but to step aside as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service.”
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