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Former NCA boss set to return as Met's new Dep Commissioner

The National Crime Agency’s hugely respected former boss is returning to policing to help turn the Met around.

Incoming Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has appointed Dame Lynne Owens as Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service.

The former head of the National Crime Agency will return to policing to take on the interim role for six months while a recruitment process is run.

Dame Lynne, who is also a former Chief Constable of Surrey and Assistant Commissioner in the Met, stood down from the NCA to undergo cancer treatment.

She ruled herself out of contention for the Met’s top job but earlier this year said she would consider another policing role in the future.

During her recovery, she has paid close attention to both policing developments and changes at the NCA.

It included sharing expert commentary on the Future of Policing report and warning the government that plans to cut jobs in the civil service would impact the NCA.

Her appointment has been made with the full support of the Home Secretary and the Mayor of London.

Sir Mark said: "Lynne is exceptional. She is an outstanding leader, who brings immense operational expertise and experience driven by the value of public service.

"She is a dynamic chief officer who is prepared to confront challenges and is passionate about the relationship between police and communities. We are fortunate to have her join the team."

It is the first stage in a major change at the top of the Met. Yesterday the force revealed three experienced people including Acting Commissioner Sir Stephen House are standing down.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Dame Lynne Owens is a strong and formidable leader with decades of experience in law enforcement and I am confident she is the right person to support Sir Mark as he starts his new role as commissioner.

“Rebuilding public trust in policing, tackling neighbourhood crime and getting the basics right must be the top priorities for the Met’s leadership team.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Dame Lynne brings decades of experience, from her senior roles in the Met, Surrey Police and most recently as lead for the National Crime Agency. Her knowledge and insight outside the Met will be invaluable in the coming months as the Met focuses on change and improvement.

“I look forward to working closely with Dame Lynne and Sir Mark to restore trust and confidence in the police and build on the significant success we have made in driving down violence and crime in our city.”

Details of the appointment had been kept as a secret. Dame Lynne will start on 12 September.

She is relishing the return: "I am enormously pleased to have this opportunity to return to the Met to support Sir Mark in delivering his plan for London as well as its communities and its officers, staff and volunteers.

"His intent is undoubtedly the right one, requiring a team effort to renew policing by consent with less crime, higher standards and more trust. I can't wait to get started!"

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