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Cressida Dick Named London’s First Female Police Chief | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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This file photo taken on December 19, 2013 shows Police Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick speaking on February 22, 2017. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL

Britain has appointed Cressida Dick as the first woman to head London’s police force in its 188-year history, succeeding Bernard Hogan-Howe who steps down as Metropolitan Police Commissioner this month after five years in charge.

Dick, 56, becomes the most senior officer in the country, heading a force of some 43,000 officers and staff and controlling a budget of more than 3 billion pounds.

“I am thrilled and humbled. This is a great responsibility and an amazing opportunity,” said Dick, who has been working for Britain’s Foreign Office after leaving the London force in 2015.

The Oxford University graduate had been the favorite to succeed Hogan-Howe.

In speeches to mark his departure, Hogan-Howe said budget pressures meant there would be fewer officers in future and that the force was struggling to recruit the extra firearms officers likely to be needed to deal with any terrorist attack.

Dick’s appointment means the most senior jobs connected to policing in Britain are now held by women, while the minister with responsibility for police and security is Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

Dick will have to decide how to police the upcoming state visit of U.S. President Donald Trump which has already
generated anger and is likely to be dogged by protests.