Met Police chief Cressida Dick 'no intention of going' over shock racist, sexist police messages

Metropolitan Police chief Dame Cressida Dick arrives at BBC Broadcasting House, London, to appear on BBC Radio London
Metropolitan Police chief Dame Cressida Dick arrives to be interviewed in central London

The boss of the Metropolitan Police said she had "no intention of going" when asked if she should step down following the revelation that officers sent racist and sexist messages to each other.

Commissioner Cressida Dick brushed aside criticism of her leadership of Britain's biggest police force and insisted she had transformed the service.

"I have absolutely no intention of going and I believe that I am and have been, actually for the last five years, leading a real transformation in the Met," she told BBC Radio London.

"We have a service now which is, I’m absolutely certain, more professional, fairer, more transparent, more accountable and closer to its communities and more effective in, for example, reducing violent crime, which has been going down year on year on year in almost every category, bucking the national trends," she added.

A scathing watchdog report uncovered shocking evidence of "disgraceful" bullying, racism, misogyny and "inappropriate behaviour" within the Met Police.

Details of messages from WhatsApp and Facebook groups including references to rape, violence against women, racist and homophobic abuse.

Officers used what they called "banter" as a cover for bullying, the Independent Office for Police Conduct found.

It made 15 recommendations, including tackling "underlying cultural issues".

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan put Dame Cressida Dick "on notice" last week

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was so horrified by the report he put Cressida Dick "on notice" and said she must "drive out" the culture of racism, homophobia, bullying and misogyny within the force.

When asked about the mayor’s comments Dame Cressida said: "I am highly accountable as the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

"The Met is an incredibly important service for London and, on occasion, for the country through counterterrorism.

"I expect to be held to account, it’s a big job and I’m quite used to being asked to account for things and I will go on doing so in the future."

She said she was "seething angry" about the shocking comments made by officers, adding: "I’m very glad that the four individuals have left.

"There is no place in the Met for sexism or racism or homophobia, for abuse trust or for bullying, and in the last few days I have gone out extremely strongly to my colleagues and told them enough is enough.

Discrimination, misogyny, harassment and bullying involved officers predominantly based at Charing Cross Police Station

"This is a fantastic police service. It is hugely capable in so many ways, but its reputation has been tarnished by the awful things that you were hearing about there in relation to the impact team at Charing Cross and also, some other awful things have happened and come to light in the last several months."

She added she was "absolutely determined" in “rooting out” similar officers and said any who held those views should "get out now".