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After Dame Cressida, crime-fighting will still come a poor second to wokeness


TROUBLE in Leftieland: Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, has thrown Dame Cressida Dick, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, under a bus. To be precise, he informed her that he no longer had confidence in her to ‘rid the police of its toxic culture’. As a result Dame Cressida has quit. 

Has this political squabble got anything to do with policing or ridding London of its toxic crime culture? Nope. One of the few things that is zealously policed today is political correctness. Despite Khan and Dame Cressida presiding over a capital riven for years by crime, drugs and murder, it was only when it emerged that some rank-and-file officers were sharing islamophobic, racist and misogynist messages did the mayor decide that his top cop must go. Perhaps Khan, who always has a keen eye on PR and image, had decided that the stench from the story was coming his way.

Of course she should go – she was a disaster area before she even started; just ask the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, the man whose killing she ordered in 2005. With perfect Blairite doublethink, she opined at the 2008 inquest that she regretted the incident but added: ‘If you ask me whether I think anybody did anything wrong or unreasonable on the operation, I don’t think they did.’ 

That should have been a warning to the sane, but in the world of left-wing civil administration Cressida Dick looked a sound bet. She was a Balliol girl for a start, and had been head of an outfit called the Diversity Directorate at the Met. Add to that, drum roll, she was both the first woman and the first openly homosexual officer to be head of the Met. When she mentioned the words political correctness it was with the withering prefix ‘so-called’. In the eyes of the Left, all that constituted a nap hand. A Muslim human rights lawyer mayor with a lesbian police commissioner – right-on heaven! Of course, it was a disaster for Londoners, but no one in the media talks about that.

When Khan was campaigning to be mayor in 2015, he vowed to ‘do everything in my power to cut stop-and-search’, a policy which had proved effective in stopping killings. As Home Secretary, Theresa May took a similar line. Khan was elected; knife crime and killings duly rose and continued to rise after Dame Cressida was installed (with Khan’s casting vote). The numbers fell only when society was closed down completely by the government’s reaction to Covid-19.

 Interestingly, one area of policing that the Met seemed obsessive about was Covid regulations. What an irony it was in that mad summer of 2020 to learn that police, sometimes on horseback, were patrolling parks looking for people sitting near each other on benches; the very same parks which for years had been filled with skunk and aggro and were usually a police-free zone.

In addition to the knife and gang mayhem, don’t forget that London was regularly reported to be the cocaine capital of Europe. London drug users were snorting eight tons of it a year under Dame Cressida’s tenure, King’s College London found. It was a criminal market worth about £1billion a year. Like a good social justice warrior, the Dame blamed the epidemic of gang violence, knife crime and disorder on middle-class drug users. 

This was revealing in two ways: one, that she took the standard Left-wing line that criminals are merely victims in class struggle; two, that despite asserting that vast numbers of people were breaking the law, the head of the biggest police force in the country did not start raiding these middle-class drug users and dragging them through the courts.

Then there is burglary. While the police authorities lose themselves in a la-la land of equality and diversity rhetoric, the figures are stark: in 77 per cent of cases in the year to August 2021 the police failed to identify a suspect, and overall only 2 per cent of cases were brought to court, the security firm Secom found. 

The left-liberal media largely ignore Dame Cressida’s abject failures in fighting crime, and tend to focus on other scandals during her tenure, which of course are troubling: how Wayne Couzens, the officer who murdered Sarah Everard, thrived in the force despite widely known unacceptable behaviour; the vile WhatsApp messages between officers; the sharing of photographs of murder victims.

The evidence about the Met’s ‘toxic culture’, in terms of the sexually violent messages and the officers jailed for clowning around murder victims’ bodies, raises an interesting question: that in spite of the force, or service as it is now called, being engulfed for years by cultural Marxism and equality and diversity mania, some members of its rank-and-file appear to have gone in the opposite direction, neither decent nor woke but rather like the yobs they so often fail to deal with in the streets.

Should we be pleased by the departure (with a whopping pay-off and pension) of Dame Cressida, one more right-on civil servant who messed things up a bit more? I don’t think so. Look who is piling on her now she has quit: none other than the head of the National Black Police Association. Inspector Andy George told the Guardian (go-to newspaper for the public-sector Left) that Dame Cressida had, never mind crime, ‘failed to tackle the widespread issues of racism, misogyny and bullying’.

So we are back to the post-Macpherson Report era, when the answer to every problem is to go further down a rabbit hole of political correctness, which of course is the aim of every neo-Marxist in power.

Who will replace Dame Cressida? The vast network of left-wing PR activism which constitutes the mass media will not be pleased by anything less than another ‘first’; it is probably too early for the Met’s first trans chief but the chances are that whoever takes the role will have all the PC attitudes and continue all the disastrous policies that have caused London’s crime epidemic in the first place. For example, the National Police Chiefs’ Council are very keen on not prosecuting drug users.

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, is angry about Khan’s de facto defenestration of Dame Cressida. But whatever Patel says, whoever comes next as Met Commissioner will need the blessing of Mayor Khan to do the job – and that will mean one thing only: more Maoist cultural revolution in the police with crime-fighting coming a poor second.

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Robert James
Robert James
Robert James is a national newspaper journalist.

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