London's first-ever female Chief of Police, Dame Cressida Dick, has turned in her resignation Thursday after allegedly losing the confidence of Mayor Shadiq Khan and a amid a scandal involving racism and misogynistic behavior within Scotland Yard.
Dick said in a statement she had no choice but to resign after Khan said he no longer had confidence in her. It is clear that the mayor no longer trusts my leadership to continue, she said, adding that she would remain in her position until a successor was appointed.
London's police have also come under fire for failing to investigate parties in Downing Street and in power circles despite health restrictions, which also threatens the political career of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“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,” Khan said.
Dick's departure comes after various scandals dented her image beyond repair, which had prompted several calls for her resignation.
The murder of Sarah Everard by former Met police officer Wayne Couzens in March 2021 sparked a controversy over a culture of misogyny in Britain’s biggest police force. Couzens has been sentenced to life in prison for abducting and eventually killing the 33-year-old Everard on the evening of March 3.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said last October that two officers from the Met would face misconduct proceedings after offensive messages were shared about Everard in the aftermath of her death. A Met Police constable shared with colleagues an inappropriate graphic, depicting violence against women.
The policing of a spontaneous vigil that took place after Everard’s death also drew criticism after women were handcuffed on the ground and led away by officers. The Met also faced criticism for telling women to flag down a bus or shout at passersby if they are stopped by a police officer they do not trust, drawing condemnation from human rights groups.
The Met Police would not launch at first a formal inquiry into the alleged parties in Downing Street until many weeks after initial reports had surfaced. Dick had explained the force would not probe “historic” breaches of lockdown rules.
Following the announcement of its investigation, senior civil servant Sue Gray was unable to publish her full report into alleged lawbreaking in Downing Street after the Met asked for “minimal reference” to the events it was investigating.
Dick was also criticized for the police's below-par performance during the Euro 2020 football final when ticketless fans attempted to storm through the gates at Wembley.