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Cressida Dick says policing has become ‘more politicised’

The outgoing Met commissioner spoke at an International Association of Women in Policing event yesterday.

A month after announcing her resignation following Sadiq Khan saying he had no confidence in her ability to reform the force, Dame Cressida Dick has stated:  “Like many other services, we have seen a drop in confidence in our service and we have seen policing becoming more politicised.”

The Commissioner was speaking at an event in Dublin that included more than 200 delegates from forces in 60 countries.

She used the speech to reflect on the social changes in the force since she began her career almost 40 years ago.

“Of course, quite properly given those events and, in particular, the murder of Sarah Everard, who was murdered by a serving Met officer last March, profound questions have been asked and we have asked ourselves about how inclusive are we, really?

“What more do we need to be truly anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic – to be truly professional?

“What else should we be doing to reduce the scourge of violence against women and girls, which is truly endemic in British society and, I think, globally.”

An independent reviewer has been brought in who will work with a small team for nine months to look at “absolutely every way in which we behave and treat each other”, she told delegates. 

Thirty per cent of officers in the Met are women, with the Commissioner  saying yesterday that there is “much to do” in terms of recruitment.

Commissioner Dick said that there has been a 50 per cent increase within the Met of women in chief inspector ranks and above in the last five years.

She also noted that 50 per cent of officers attracted by the direct entry detective scheme are women but that, as with other forces, the Met still has work to do to become a 50/50 women/men service. 

As of March 31, 2021 there were 43,762 female officers across the 43 forces, making up 32.4 per cent of total strength. The proportion had increased from 31.2 per cent from the previous year, following an increase every year over the past decade.

Cumbria had the highest proportion of female officers at 40.4 per cent, with City of London having the smallest proportion at 23.8 per cent.

Also speaking at the event Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said 28 per cent of his force were female officers.

He said that he hoped to see more women join the force to help boost public confidence.

He said: “The latest figures I have seen is that approximately 40% of applicants are women so that’s very important as well.

“Where it helps us is in terms of the strength of the team. Strength on a team comes through diversity and that strength also comes from array of skills and a range of thinking to what are very difficult and complex problems, but also it’s about representation as a policing service.”

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