Victims of police corruption call on PM to sack 'above the law' Cressida Dick

9 September 2021, 06:36 | Updated: 9 September 2021, 10:06

An open letter has been written to the Prime Minister calling for the removal of Dame Cressida Dick.
An open letter has been written to the Prime Minister calling for the removal of Dame Cressida Dick. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Victims of police corruption have called on Boris Johnson to remove the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, following a string of controversies that have rocked Scotland Yard.

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An open letter to the Prime Minister states that Dame Cressida "must be properly investigated for her conduct", along with her "predecessors and those in her inner circle, who she appointed and who have questions to answer".

One of the victims who penned the letter, broadcaster Paul Gambaccini, was arrested over false sex abuse allegations in 2013 and spent a year on bail before the case was dropped by then Met assistant commissioner Dick's detectives.

In an out-of-court settlement last year, the Met agreed to pay him £250,000 over privacy breaches.

He told LBC that the Met Police is similar to the "Mafia code of Omerta".

"The actions that were taken against us individually were so pointless, so stupid, we searched for meaning," he explained.

"And then when we found common themes in the way that the Met had treated other people, we realised, to our horror, this is how they do it.

"I’ve used the comparison before, it’s the Mafia code of Omerta that I saw in the New York area as I was growing up. It’s where everyone gets together in a circle, puts their arm around each other and lets no one else in and does not let the truth out. And that is to a T what the Metropolitan Police leadership are.

"We all agree that 90% of officers are good, hardworking people, but the institution does believe in the Mafia code of Omerta.

"You never let any bad word about an officer get out and so we have had this ridiculous situation, where Cressida Dick has been covering up time and time again.

"The public want to know the full truth about the murder of Stephen Lawrence, and its cover-up. The public want to know about the axe-murder of Daniel Morgan.

"To conceal these things forever is a fiasco.

"I know you want Britain to be first-division after Brexit, but no country can be first-division with a third-division police force."

The group says the Met chief should be replaced by someone outside of London "via a truly independent and transparent process".

They say: "We share a collective concern that the leadership of the Metropolitan Police Service will continue to act as though they are above the law and that the general public do not have a viable means of recourse.

Read more: Dame Cressida Dick 'set for two-year extension as Met chief'

Read more: Met Police chief urged to resign after 'deeply disturbing' handling of Sarah Everard vigil

The letter - which was shared with the Daily Mail - was written by high-profile victims such as the mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, Baroness Doreen Lawrence, and Lady Diana Brittan.

The group icludes the son of D-Day hero Lord Bramall, BBC broadcaster Paul Gambaccini, the brother of axe murder victim Daniel Morgan, Edward Heath's biographer Michael McManus and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor.

The letter was released following reports the Met Police chief is set to have her contract extended by another two years.

The Met chief is poised to remain in her role until 2024 thanks to an extension on her current five-year contract being prepared by Home Secretary Priti Patel, the Evening Standard reported.

But the Home Office has remained tight-lipped, declining to confirm if she will remain in charge.

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When asked to comment of the reports, a Home Office spokesperson said: "The Home Secretary works closely with the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and the Mayor of London to protect the public, make our streets safer and reduce crime.

"The appointment of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service is a formal process which will be confirmed in the proper way."

There were calls for Dame Cressida to resign following police's heavy-handed policing of the Sarah Everard vigil back in March.

Some called for the police chief to resign immediately, following its "deeply disturbing" policing of the gathering.

A parliamentary inquiry later found the actions of the police on that night breached the public's "fundamental rights" to a peaceful protest.

Elsewhere, the force was found to be "institutionally corrupt" after the findings of a historic inquiry into the unsolved murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan in 1987 were published.

The Met boss said she had "no intention of resigning" following the accusations and that she did not accept the conclusion.