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Queen Elizabeth II appoints first woman in history to head Scotland Yard

On Wednesday, 22nd February 2017, Cressida Dick was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II as the first woman in its 187-year history to head London’s Metropolitan Police Service as Commissioner. The appointment followed a recommendation by British Home Secretary, Amber Rudd.

Also known as Scotland Yard and the Met, the Metropolitan Police Service is the largest police force in the United Kingdom with approximately 43,000 employees.

The current head of the Met – Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe – is due to retire next year, when the post will be taken up by Dick, who is currently a director general at the Foreign Office. Commissioner Hogan-Howard publicly shared congratulations with his replacement via the Metropolitan Police Twitter feed where he said: ‘My warmest congratulations to Cressida Dick. She’s achieved an incredible amount & deserves the post – a very talented person.’

Formerly an assistant commissioner of the force Dick said she was ‘thrilled and humbled’ to have been chosen for the role and that ‘this is a great responsibility and an amazing opportunity.’

In a statement, British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that ‘Cressida Dick is an exceptional leader, and has a clear vision for the future of the Metropolitan Police and an understanding of the diverse range of communities it serves…she now takes on one of the most demanding, high-profile and important jobs in U.K. policing, against the backdrop of a heightened terror alert and evolving threats from fraud and cyber crime.’

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan – whose opinion on the appointment was also sought by Rudd – said in a post on Twitter: ‘On behalf of all Londoners, I warmly welcome Cressida to the role and I very much look forward to working with her to keep our capital safe and protected.’

Dick first joined the Met in 1983 and then went on to join Thames Valley Police in southeastern England. She returned to the Met in 2001 in the role of commander and has since held a number of senior roles including assistant commissioner responsible for fighting terrorism, assistant commissioner for specialist crime and deputy commissioner.