Cressida Dick faces call to quit to restore ‘confidence of women in the police’

Cressida Dick faces call to quit to restore ‘confidence of women in the police’
Sarah Everard Mark PKG for DIGI
Josh Kaplan

By Josh Kaplan

Published: 30/09/2021

- 12:58

Updated: 30/09/2021

- 13:55

Harriet Harman called on Priti Patel to make changes to policing

Dame Cressida Dick is facing calls to resign in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder amid demands for urgent action to restore the confidence of women in the police.

Harriet Harman MP has asked the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, to take urgent action to “rebuild the shattered confidence of women in the police service”, and has told the Metropolitan Police Commissioner she needs to step aside to “enable these changes to be taken through”.

In a letter to Dame Cressida, the MP for Camberwell and Peckham, who is also mother of the House of Commons and chairman of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, said: “Women need to be confident that the police are there to make them safe, not to put them at risk. Women need to be able to trust the police, not to fear them.

“I have written to the Home Secretary to set out a number of actions which must be taken to rebuild the shattered confidence of women in the police service.

“I think it is not possible for you to lead these necessary actions in the Metropolitan Police. I am sure that you must recognise this, and I ask you to resign to enable these changes to be taken through and for women to be able to have justified confidence in the police.”

In a second letter to Ms Patel discussing the crimes of Wayne Couzens, she said: “It is clear that there had been all too many warning signs about him which had been swept under the carpet. It cannot be rebuilt with the attempt to reassure that this was just, as the Metropolitan Police Commissioner said, one ‘bad’un’.

“Women’s confidence in the police can only be rebuilt with substantive and immediate change.”

She called on the Home Secretary to bring forward changes including:

– Immediately suspending officers from duty where there is an allegation of violence against women.

– Dismissing officers immediately when there is a conviction or admission of such a crime.

– Disciplinary action of gross misconduct, leading to dismissal, for failing to report fellow officers for an allegation of violence against women.

– Scrutinising someone’s attitudes to violence against women, including engaging in violence during sex, as part of vetting of police recruits.

– Fresh checks on officers who transfer between forces for allegations of violence against women.

– Training for all current serving officers with a course to teach them to “examine their own attitudes to violence against women and recognise signs in their colleagues”.

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