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Sir Mark Rowley returns to policing as new Met Commissioner

The Met’s former head of counter terrorism, Sir Mark Rowley, is returning as the new Commissioner.

Sir Mark Rowley is coming out of retirement to be the new Metropolitan Police’ Commissioner.

The former National Police Chiefs' Council Lead for Counter-Terrorism was confirmed after a meeting with Home Secretary Priti Patel.

The appointment represents success at the second attempt for Sir Mark. In 2017, he was on the shortlist of four candidates for the top job and missed out to Dame Cressida the previous incumbant in UK policing's hot seat. 

Since his retirement from policing in 2018, Sir Mark has worked largely  in the private sector focusing on technology, specialist security and investigation expertise including forensics.  

Sir Mark said he was “deeply honoured to be taking up the role but also acknowledged the force’s reputation had been “heavily dented” in recent years.

“I also know that the majority of officers and staff retain an extraordinary sense of vocation and determination and want us to do better. It is my job to help them do that, whilst also being ruthless in removing those who are corrupting our integrity,” he said.

“We will deliver more trust, less crime and high standards for London and beyond and we will work with London’s diverse communities as we together renew the uniquely British invention of ‘policing by consent’.”

It ends months of tension after the dismissal of predecessor Dame Cressida Dick 

The other contender this time around for the post was Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “The Home Secretary and I have agreed that Sir Mark Rowley is the best person to lead the Metropolitan Police as the new Commissioner at this extremely challenging time.”

Sir Mark was Chief Constable of Surrey Police for four years (2008-2011) before joining the Metropolitan Police Service in 2011. He was a former Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Crime and Operations of the Metropolitan Police Service (2011- 2014), and then National Police Chiefs' Council Lead for Counter-Terrorism (2014- 2018). He was knighted in 2018.

The decision now speeds up the Engage process which the Home Secretary wants completed before Sir Mark takes up his post.

That’s a tough task as the Greater London Assembly heard earlier this week that the force has 14 areas of concern and performance has been sliding since 2016.

He has already signalled that he believes the force cannot deal with the raft of problems by itself and the causes are wider than organisational culture.

Before the announcement was made, he told BBC Radio 4 that the Met is facing a resource issue.

And that means he will also walk a line between London mayor Sadiq Khan and home Secretary Priti Patel.

The Home Secretary said rebuilding public trust and delivering on crime reduction must be his priority.

“This will be a challenging period, but with a focus on tackling neighbourhood crime and delivering the basics of policing, Sir Mark is committed to tackling the significant challenges confronting the force and to making London’s streets safer by driving down crime and bringing more criminals to justice,” Ms Patel said.

The man who brought about the dismissal of his predecessor pledged his support to Commissioner Rowley.

Sadiq Khan said: “He brings a wealth of great experience to the position, including exceptional leadership during the 2017 terror attacks and a genuine commitment to increasing engagement with diverse communities across our city.

“The experience he has gained outside policing over the last four years will also bring a valuable new perspective to the Met. Above all, he is committed to policing by consent and shares my ambition to get to a place where all Londoners feel protected and served.”

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