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Saturday Special: Britain’s top police officers who hope to replace Cressida Dick as head of the Met

Saturday Special: Britain’s top police officers who hope to replace Cressida Dick as head of the Met
Sunday 13 February 2022 8:40 am There is no clear frontrunner to replace outgoing commissioner Cressida Dick.Less than 24 hours after Dame Cressida Dick’s dramatic shock resignation, speculation has already begun about who will replace the Metropolitan Police’s first female commissioner. Last night, Dame Cressida announced that she would be stepping down after losing the…

There is no clear frontrunner to replace outgoing commissioner Cressida Dick.

Less than 24 hours after Dame Cressida Dick’s dramatic shock resignation, speculation has already begun about who will replace the Metropolitan Police’s first female commissioner.

Last night, Dame Cressida announced that she would be stepping down after losing the backing of London Mayor Sadiq Khan in the wake of a series of scandals during her tenure leading Britain’s biggest police force.

With no clear frontrunner to replace the outgoing commissioner, here is a look at some of the likely candidates.

Sir Stephen House

Sir Stephen House is the Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, just below Dame Cressida, and so is a natural contender for the job.

The Scottish police officer has worked in several different forces and was appointed chief constable of Police Scotland in 2012.

However, during his tenure leading Police Scotland he faced criticism for his use of armed patrols as well as stop and search.

He eventually resigned in 2015 over the deaths of Lamara Bell and John Yuill, who lay undiscovered in a wrecked car for three days despite a call from a member of the public.

But in 2018, he became an assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan Police and was promoted to deputy commissioner by the end of the year.

Matt Jukes

Matt Jukes, an assistant Metropolitan Police commissioner currently working as head of counter-terrorism, is seen by many commentators as a likely contender.

Mr Jukes first joined South Yorkshire Police as a Pc before moving to South Wales Police and working his way up the ranks.

He rose to become chief constable of South Wales Police before returning to the Metropolitan Police as an assistant commissioner in 2020.

So unlike Dame Cressida, who never ran her own force before becoming commissioner, he has prior experience at the helm.

Lucy D’Orsi

Another potential replacement is Lucy D’Orsi, the Chief Constable of the British Transport Police.

She previously worked as a senior officer at the Metropolitan Police.

During her career, she was in charge of the police response to the Beaufort Park fire in 2006 and she headed up security during Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit to the UK in 2015.

She would be following in Dame Cressida’s footsteps as the second woman to become Metropolitan Police commissioner.

Nick Ephgrave

Nick Ephgrave, assistant commissioner for frontline policing, is also in with a chance of getting the top job.

Mr Ephgrave began his career at the Metropolitan Police but moved to become chief constable of Surrey Police in late 2015.

In 2019, he returned to the Metropolitan Police as an assistant commissioner.

Like Mr Jukes, he also already has experience leading a police force.

Neil Basu

Neil Basu, another assistant commissioner who previously worked as the head of counter-terrorism, is also thought to be a likely candidate.

Mr Basu has spent his entire career serving in the Metropolitan Police.

In a 2019 interview with The Guardian, he said that if someone used the racially offensive comments Boris Johnson had, they would not be admitted into the police force.

For some, the comments were seen as political and could prove detrimental to his chances of succeeding Dame Cressida.

But Mr Basu is popular among officers and is widely seen as capable.

He is also the most senior police officer of Asian heritage and would be the first minority ethnic commissioner.

Helen Ball

Helen Ball is the current Assistant Commissioner for the Met.

She joined in 1987 but left in 2010 to join Thames Valley Police as assistant chief constable.

Ms Ball later returned to work in counter-terrorism policing before taking on a strategic leadership adviser role at the College of Policing.

Stephen Watson

Dubbed one of the “most experienced senior officers in the country”, Stephen Watson has been an officer since 1988 when he first joined Lancashire Constabulary.

He was appointed to Merseyside Police in 2006 on promotion to chief superintendent and joined the Met in 2011 as commander for the East Area.

He became Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police in May 2021.

Simon Byrne

Simon Byrne began his police career in 1982 in the Metropolitan Police before later moving to Merseyside Police, where he was with the force for 20 years, and Greater Manchester Police.

In 2011 he returned to the Met as assistant commissioner for territorial policing. He was appointed Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland in 2019.

Martin Hewitt

Martin Hewitt began his policing career with Kent Police in 1993 and later transferred to the Metropolitan Police Service in 2005.

He was appointed chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) in April 2019.

Sir Dave Thompson

Sir Dave Thompson worked at Greater Manchester Police for 20 years before joining West Midlands Police in 2010 as deputy chief constable in 2010.

He was promoted to Chief Constable in 2016. He is also vice chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council.

Sir Dave received a knighthood in 2021 and the Queen’s Police Medal in 2014 for services to policing.

Last month he announced he would be stepping down from the role this year following the Commonwealth Games.

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