Kevin Hurley is a former senior police officer and reservist army officer. He has completed two tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan working on security sector reform. He now specialises in advising on policing and security development in fractured nations.
Priti Patel’s criticism of the Metropolitan Police in this week’s Sunday Times left me appalled. A Home Office source said that the home secretary regarded the commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, and deputy commissioner, Sir Steve House, as ‘tin eared’. Apparently, all the senior police chiefs are the same, and must be sorted out.
Just think about that for a moment. A home secretary with a reputation for bullying staff, and who deceived Theresa May when she was prime minister, is apparently after the top two people in UK policing.
The commissioner, the first female to have held the post – and who happens to be gay – is allegedly lucky to still be in a job. This is someone with a stellar career in policing, an Oxford graduate who has led national counter-terrorism efforts and who was head-hunted for a senior role at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. But she is apparently not good enough.
Patel believes that the Met, an organisation led by a lesbian, along with the wider police service, has a culture of misogyny. Until recently, two other top posts in policing – heading up the National Crime Agency and National Police Chiefs’ Council – were held by women. To suggest that three women have presided over a so-called ‘culture of misogyny’ is stupid beyond belief.
It is very easy for any of us to find fault in individual police failings – the mishandled Operation Midland of a few years ago; undercover officers forming sexual relationships and taking infiltration too far; too much tolerance of Extinction Rebellion; a monstrous sexual murderer in the shape of Wayne Couzens.
Set that against the many millions of calls for service: the hundreds of murders solved, thousands of rapes investigated, many terrorists arrested or thwarted. The thousands of vulnerable missing persons found; the hundreds of potential murder or road accident victims given life-preserving first aid; the many, many people rescued from blazing buildings, freezing rivers, car wrecks or violent abusers.
One could say that Cressida Dick has actually done quite well.
Then take into account the difficulties of managing the Met through the worst of Covid. And catching and convicting Sarah Everard’s killer in record time, causing the. Brinkwire Summary News. For more information, search on the internet.