Cressida Dick, first woman commissioner of Scotland Yard in its 187-year history, took charge of her post on Monday, promising to protect the people of London, which recently saw a lone-wolf attack on the British Parliament.
The 56-year-old was caught on camera walking into her new office at the Metropolitan Police headquarters in London wearing trainers and carrying a bunch of bananas.
“This is a great responsibility and an amazing opportunity. I’m looking forward immensely to protecting and serving the people of London and working again with the fabulous women and men of the Met,” Commissioner Dick had said in February when her appointment was first made public.
In her new post, Dick is in charge of more than 43,000 officers and staff and has an estimated 3-billion-pound security budget to manage.
It has already been revealed that she voluntarily chose to take a 40,000-pound pay cut over the previous commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe’s, salary and will be earning 270,000 pounds a year.
Commissioner Dick had spent more than 30 years working in policing prior to her departure from the Met for a low-profile role at the UK Foreign Office in 2015.
The daughter of two academics, she was born, brought up and educated in Oxford.
After graduating from Oxford University’s Balliol College with a degree in agriculture and forest sciences, she worked briefly in accountancy before joining the Met in 1983.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said of her appointment: “Cressida Dick will be the first female commissioner of the Met in its 187-year history, and the most powerful police officer in the land... This is a historic day for London and a proud day for me as mayor.”
Scotland Yard is Britain’s biggest British force and was founded in 1829.
As well as covering London, it has national functions including counter-terrorism and diplomatic and VIP protection.
The new commissioner takes over at a particularly sensitive time for the British capital, which remains on high alert for a terrorist attack following Khalid Masood’s attack on March 22.
One of her first tasks as the most powerful police officer in Britain would be to attend the funeral of PC Keith Palmer, the Met Police officer killed at the gates of Parliament during the terrorist attack in London last month.
Hundreds of officers from around Britain have been lining the streets of London for Palmer’s funeral procession from the Palace of Westminster to Southwark Cathedral on Monday.