Cressida Dick: Baroness Doreen Lawrence signs open letter calling for Met Police chief to be replaced

Dame Cressida Dick has been accused of “presiding over a culture of incompetence and cover-up”

High-profile critics of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, including the mother of murdered Stephen Lawrence, have signed an open letter to Boris Johnson urging for her to be replaced.

The letter, which has been shared with the Daily Mail, accuses Dame Cressida of “presiding over a culture of incompetence and cover-up”.

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At a glance: 5 key points

  • The letter, which is signed by authors including Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Lady Diana Brittan, said that she “should be replaced by an appointee outside of London via a truly independent and transparent process”.
  • It also urged the police watchdog, the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) to introduce reforms.
  • Baroness Lawrence, mother of teenager Stephen Lawrence, who died in a racist attack in 1993, has previously voiced her disappointment after an investigation into her son’s death was shelved last year.
  • Lady Brittan, whose home was raided when her late husband Lord Brittan was falsely accused of child abuse as part of Operation Midland, previously told the Home Affairs Select Committee that public figures caught up in the scandal had still not received justice.
  • It comes after reports suggested Dame Cressida had been offered a two-year extension to her contract.

What’s been said

“Dame Cressida Dick … must not have her contract extended and must be properly investigated for her conduct, along with predecessors and those in her inner circle, who she appointed and who have questions to answer.”

Open letter to Boris Johnson

Background

Dame Cressida is reportedly set to be kept on as Met Police Commissioner for a further two years, a decision that The Guardian claims was made by Home Secretary Priti Patel in consultation with London mayor Sadiq Khan and Downing Street.

The paper reported she was offered the extension as those who could replace her were not yet seen as being suitable for the job.

During her tenure as the head of Britain’s biggest police force, Dame Cressida’s leadership and the Met’s integrity have faced criticism over a number of issues.

They include officers’ handling of a vigil held in memory of Sarah Everard, the marketing executive murdered by former Met Police Pc Wayne Couzens in March.

In June, a report on the unsolved 1987 murder of Daniel Morgan accused the force of institutional corruption and sparked denials from the Met’s leadership.

The force has also faced ongoing accusations of racial bias in its use of stop and search powers and was hit with criticism over the security of Wembley stadium during the final of the Euro 2020 championships.

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