Met Police chief Dame Cressida Dick ‘offered two-year extension to role’

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has been offered a two-year extension to her contract months before it was due to expire, according to reports.

Dame Cressida, who became commissioner in April 2017 and was the first woman to lead London’s force since its inception in 1829, had a five-year contract that was due to end in April next year.

According to the Guardian newspaper, she is reportedly being kept on for a further two years, a decision which the paper claims has been made by Home Secretary Priti Patel in consultation with London mayor Sadiq Khan and Downing Street.

Cressida Dick and Priti Patel
Dame Cressida with Home Secretary Priti Patel during a visit to the new Counter-Terrorism Operations Centre (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The paper reported she was offered the extension as those who could replace her were not yet seen as being suitable for the job.

During her tenure as the head of Britain’s biggest police force, Dame Cressida’s leadership and the Met’s integrity has faced criticism over a number of issues.

They include officers’ handling of a vigil held in memory of Sarah Everard, a marketing executive who was murdered by former Met Police Pc Wayne Couzens in March.

In June, a damning report on the unsolved 1987 murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan accused the force of institutional corruption, sparking bullish denials from the Met leadership.

The Met has also faced ongoing accusations of racial bias in its use of stop and search and was hit with criticism over the security of Wembley stadium during the final of the Euro 2020 championships.

Sarah Everard vigil
The force was criticised over its handling of a vigil held for Sarah Everard (Victoria Jones/PA)

Dame Cressida has also had to deal with the fall out from the disastrous Operation Midland, a multimillion-pound investigation which saw detectives duped by false claims of a VIP sex abuse ring made by fantasist Carl Beech.

A Home Office spokesperson told the PA news agency: “The appointment of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service is a formal process which will be confirmed in the proper way.”

Dame Cressida previously defended the force following the Daniel Morgan report, refusing to accept the finding of institutional corruption by an independent panel, and defended the actions of officers at the Euro 2020 final.

She has previously denied the force is institutionally racist but has admitted her force “is not free of discrimination, racism or bias”.

Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House previously apologised for failings made by the force following Operation Midland and insisted that there was no cover up. The Met is defending judicial review over the Sarah Everard case.

Mr Khan’s office declined to comment.