Cressida Dick enters second week in role with sights set on reducing violent crime in London amid police service budget cuts.
The Metropolitan police of the future could have fewer officers on the beat but would be better equipped to fight cybercrime and more officers would carry Tasers, its new commissioner has said.
Entering her second week as Britain’s most senior police officer, Cressida Dick said her highest priority as the head of London’s police service would be reducing violent crime in the capital, particularly knife and gun crime.
Dick, 57, the first woman in the role of Met commissioner, inherits the top job at a time when the service has been affected by huge budget cuts. “I think the Met needs to be well funded, and I will make the arguments for that,” she said. The service has made £600m of savings already, and could be facing further cuts of £400m or more.
As a result of the slashed budgets the force might well have fewer officers on the beat at the end of her five-year term as commissioner, she said, “but it could be as effective if not more effective, through the use of technology and different ways of working”.
Speaking to reporters at Lewisham police station in south London on Tuesday, Dick said the service needed to modernise, adding that another of her priorities would be equipping the Met to tackle cybercrime and to use data analytics to identify suspects “in a way we can’t quite do at the moment”.