Cressida Dick Cressida Dick. Photo: Katie Chan / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0, license linked below article

Cressida Dick’s role as Commissioner highlighted how deep the rot goes in the Metropolitan police and why we must oppose Tory plans to give them more powers, writes Steph Pike

Although the resignation of Cressida Dick is welcome, it is also long overdue. From her appalling responses to the concerns of women following the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer to her consistent refusal to acknowledge the institutional misogyny, racism and homophobia of the Met despite overwhelming evidence, she has shown that she is not only unable but unwilling to lead the systemic changes needed.

Although we may have expected more of her as the first female commissioner of the Met, her failures should come as no surprise as Cressida Dick already has form; she is an officer fully immersed in the toxic culture of the Police Force that she has lead. The culture of promoting incompetent, corrupt, bigoted officers is one that served Cressida Dick well. She was the Gold Commander for the botched anti-terrorist opertation that ended with the Met murdering Jean Charles de Menezes. She should have been sacked for this; she should never have been promoted to be Commissioner of the Met. The fact that she was, gave the green light for the incompetence, corruption and bigotry already rife in the force to continue unchallenged and unabated.

But the resignation of Cressida Dick will not in itself address the problem of the Met. The lack of leadership and political will to address the problem of the Met goes right to the heart of the government, a government that not only appointed Cressida Dick despite her involvement in and responsibility for the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes but a government that has also consistently refused to acknowledge the institutional racism and misogyny not only in the Met, but in all institutions of power in this country.

We will see over the next few weeks who the new commissioner of the Met will be. But systemic change will not just come from one person. What this shows is that the Met is fundamentally a reactionary force in society.

At the very least, we need to start with an acknowledgement not only by the new Commissioner, but also by the government, of the existence of institutional misogyny, racism and homophobia. The government must also signal its intent by dropping the Police and Crime Bill; a bill that seeks to give further powers to the Police, restrict the right to protest and is a direct attack on  the BLM and other liberation movements.

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Steph Pike

Steph Pike a is a revolutionary socialist, feminist and People's Assembly activist. She is also a  published poet. Her poetry collection 'Petroleuse' is published by Flapjack Press.