The way of her exit on the finish of final week was attribute of her chequered time in cost, dominated by political turmoil and an air of chaotic incompetence.
When first appointed in 2017, she was hailed each as a reformer who would change the poisonous tradition of the Met and as a pioneer for range due to her identification as a lesbian.
However her management grew to become embroiled in bitter controversies, such because the fall-out from the homicide of Sarah Everard by serving officer Wayne Couzens, the publicity of rampant bigotry at Charing Cross police station and Operation Midland, the botched investigation right into a paedophile ring at Westminster.
Dame Cressida, who’s strolling away with a colossal payoff, was additionally perceived to have mishandled the extremely delicate inquiry into alleged breaches of lockdown by Downing Road through the Covid pandemic.
Ruthlessly opportunistic, the London Mayor Sadiq Khan seized on her issues to precise his insecurity in her. For him, this transfer had the extra advantage of undermining the Residence Secretary Priti Patel, who had solely renewed Dick’s contract final September.
But the deal with politics ignores a extra elementary difficulty. By far Dame Cressida’s biggest weak spot was her failure to make the capital a safe place. Knife crime has spiralled uncontrolled. In 2021 a file 30 youngsters had been killed within the metropolis. But the Met cleared up simply 10 % of violent assaults, 8.7 % of robberies and 5.5 % of burglaries.
Dame Cressida by no means discovered “sorry” the toughest phrase – apology was her default mode – and in 2019 she expressed her contrition at these “woefully low” detection charges. “It is not good and I am not pleased with it,” she mentioned, however did nothing to result in an enchancment.
London is hardly distinctive. The identical sample might be discovered all through the nation. Nationally, simply 6.8 % of violent assaults find yourself in a cost or courtroom summons, whereas only one reported rape in each 77 instances is prosecuted.
Hypothesis about Dame Cressida’s successor has predictably turn out to be enmeshed with trendy ideology. Advocates of a brand new strategy in British policing more and more sound as if they need a social work director or a range campaigner within the position.
Dal Babu, an adviser to Mayor Khan, says that the job is about “partaking with the group and dealing extra successfully in partnerships”. Sue Fish, the previous head of the Nottinghamshire Constabulary, argues that the brand new chief wants “excessive ranges of empathy”.
Others keep that Dick’s successor ought to be “a feminist”, in step with the idea that police forces ought to try to mirror the make-up of the inhabitants.
However right here isn’t any gender stability amongst perpetrators of crime. The overwhelming majority of harmful offenders are masculine, simply as 93 % of all killers in Britain are males.
Such a actuality requires a tricky coverage, not virtue-signalling. By far a very powerful qualification for the subsequent Met chief – and every other British police boss – is a powerful file as against the law fighter. Our nation wants police leaders who need to put concern into offenders slightly than sympathize with their invented victimhood.
Since Dame Cressida stop, we’ve got been continually instructed how the highest publish on the Met has turn out to be an impossibly tough job, accountable for a posh organisation of 43,000 folks and a bunch of nationwide duties corresponding to counter-terrorism.
However this hand-wringing is overdone. At coronary heart, the important thing mission of the police stays as at all times: to sort out criminality and defend the general public.
Within the early Nineteen Nineties, the violent city panorama of New York was reworked by Commissioner Invoice Bratton, not by educational theorising however by a resolute enforcement of the regulation. “You need to scale back crime and restore order? It is fairly easy. Give attention to crime with fast and sure responses,” he wrote.
That’s the spirit we now require on the Met.With a decided determine on the prime, the pressure can once more turn out to be one of the vital admired on the planet.