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Cressida Dick grew up in Oxford and attended the city’s university, as an undergraduate at Baliol College. She graduated in 1982 and, following a brief spell working at an accountancy firm, Cressida joined the Met in 1983. She started on patrols in the west end of London and worked as a Sergeant in south-west London and an Inspector for 5 years in Peckham. She joined Thames Valley Police as a Superintendent, where she oversaw policing in her home city of Oxford. After a short career break, Cressida returned to the Met in 2001 as a Commander.

Why is being a police officer such a rewarding job?

Being a police officer is perhaps not for absolutely everyone, but for people who join us and like it, they love it. As a police officer you get to help people, protect people, you get to keep society safe. You can have an incredibly rewarding, challenging, interesting and satisfying time, and there are so many different jobs that you can do as a police officer.

I look back and I have been policing for 35 years and I’ve done a huge range of roles and I think everybody who joined with me would say the same as they get towards their 30-year mark. There are so many different things that they have done, there is so much that they have learnt, so much that they are passionate about. 

The huge range of roles mentioned included commanding firearms operations in threat-to-life and kidnap situations, training as a hostage negotiator and spending time in charge of Scotland Yard’s Diversity Unit. Following that, from 2011 to 2014, as the Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations and National Police Chief Council counter-terrorist lead, Cressida was responsible for UK counter terrorism policing and led operational security and counter terrorist operations for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics.

Cressida was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2015 New Year Honours and retired from the Met later that year. On the morning of 10th April 2017, she was re-attested as a police officer and took up her new responsibilities. As the first female Commissioner of the Met, Cressida is proud that, today the Met has Women in all roles and ranks – women are highly influential in the Met.

Why is the 100 years of women in policing such a significant milestone?

The 100 years celebrations are a fantastic moment in the Met’s history. 100 years since the first women went on patrol. During that time women pioneers have broken through in all kinds of roles and specialism’s, and women have contributed such a lot over the years.

I think it is important that we look back, celebrate, and thank them, but it’s also important that we show the wider world what women are doing in the Met at the moment, in every role, in every rank, in every specialism, contributing a huge amount to keeping our great city safe. And as we look forward, we want more women, we want the best of the best of the talent of London, and we want even more women to join us and have a fantastic life keeping people safe in London.

What advice would you give to anyone who was thinking of joining?

I would encourage anyone to think about policing as a job, as a career, as a vocation. You may think you are a bit different from your image of a police officer, but actually you are probably the sort of person that we need. We want people from every background, and I can assure you it could give you a wonderful, fascinating, interesting and satisfying life. It’s a well-paid job with some wonderful opportunities, now and in the future. Anybody who is thinking that they might be interested in policing please get in touch.

You can contact us on social media, you can telephone us, you can look on our website, and you can walk into a police station. We would love to see you, we would love to encourage you, and we would love to spend time with you so that you can find out whether this is the job for you. I have had a fantastic time in policing and I know thousands and thousands of other officers, men and women, who would say the same. If you think it might be for you please get in touch.

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