Cressida Dick

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Cressida Dick
Assistant Commissioner,
Specialist Operations
In office
July 2011 – January 2015
Preceded by John Yates
Succeeded by Mark Rowley
Acting Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police
In office
November 2011 – 23 January 2012
Preceded by Tim Godwin
Succeeded by Craig Mackey
Personal details
Born 1960
Oxford, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford
Profession Civil Servant
Portfolio Specialist Operations

Cressida Rose Dick, CBE, QPM (born 1960) is a Director-general at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Previously she was a senior officer in the Metropolitan Police in London. Dick was once the most senior female police officer in Britain. Dick served as acting deputy commissioner in the interim between Deputy Commissioner Tim Godwin's retirement and his permanent successor, Craig Mackey, taking office at the end of January 2012.

Before 2005, Dick attracted little media attention, but became well known as having been the officer in command of the operation which led to the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes. In June 2009, she was promoted to the rank of assistant commissioner, the first woman to hold this rank substantively. She holds the Queen's Police Medal for distinguished service.

Early life[edit]

Cressida Dick is the third and youngest child of Cecilia Dick (née Buxton), an Oxford historian, and Marcus William Dick,[1] Senior Tutor at Balliol College, Oxford[2] and Professor of Philosophy at the University of East Anglia.[3] She was born and raised in Oxford, England, and educated at the Dragon School (Oxford), Oxford High School, and Balliol College, Oxford. Before joining the police, she worked in a large accountancy firm.

Police career[edit]

In 1983, Dick joined the Metropolitan Police as a constable. In 1993, she joined the accelerated promotion course at Bramshill Police College, and in 1995, transferred to Thames Valley Police as a superintendent. She was operations superintendent at Oxford, and later, served as area commander in Oxford for three years. In 2000, she completed the strategic command course and, in 2001, she was awarded an M.Phil in criminology from the University of Cambridge (Fitzwilliam College), graduating with the highest grade in her class.[4]

In June 2001, she returned to the Metropolitan Police as a commander, where she was head of the diversity directorate until 2003. She then became the head of Operation Trident, which investigates gun crimes within London's black community.

In the immediate aftermath of 21 July 2005 London bombings, she was the gold commander in the control room during the operation, which led to the death of the Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, wrongly identified as an attempted suicide bomber, on 22 July 2005.

In September 2006, the Metropolitan Police Authority announced her promotion to the rank of deputy assistant commissioner, specialist operations. On 30 June 2009 the Metropolitan Police Authority further announced her promotion to assistant commissioner, in charge of the Specialist Crime Directorate.[5]

In July 2011, Dick was appointed assistant commissioner, specialist operations following the resignation of John Yates, who stepped down in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.[6]

Dick was appointed acting deputy commissioner, and held the post between the retirement of Tim Godwin and the commencement of the new deputy commissioner Craig Mackey's term at the beginning of 2012. She held the rank until 23 January 2012.[7]

In February 2013, she was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4.[8]

She holds the Queen's Police Medal for distinguished service.[9]

It was announced in December 2014 that she would retire from the police in 2015 to join the Foreign Office, in an unspecified director-general level posting.[10][11][12] She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to policing.[13]


  1. ^ "Person Page 19642". Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  2. ^ John Jones. "Balliol Archives – memorials". Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  3. ^ The History of the University of East Anglia, Norwich – Michael Sanderson – Google Books. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  4. ^ ""Fitzwilliam Women's Dinner Guest of Honour", ''Optima (p. 16)'', 2002" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  5. ^ "Press release 47/09". MPA. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  6. ^ BST 19 July 2011 (19 July 2011). ""Phone Hacking: botched de Menezes operation officer now counter-terrorism head", ''Telegraph'', 2011/07/19". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  7. ^ "Acting Deputy Commissioner Cressida Dick", "Met.Police.UK", 2011/12/27 Archived 23 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ BBC Radio 4, Woman's Hour Power list
  9. ^ Justin Davenport, Crime Editor (1 July 2009). "Met officer who oversaw de Menezes operation given top job". Evening Standard. London. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  10. ^ "Cressida Dick leaves Metropolitan police after 31 years". BBC News. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick to leave Met Police". The Guardian. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2015. 
  12. ^ Peachey, Paul (2 December 2014). "Britain's top policewoman quits Scotland Yard for the Foreign Office". The 'i'. 
  13. ^ 2015 New Year Honours List

External links[edit]

Police appointments
Preceded by
John Yates
Metropolitan Police Service
Assistant Commissioner (Specialist Crime Directorate)

Succeeded by
Lynne Owens
Preceded by
John Yates
Metropolitan Police Service
Assistant Commissioner (Specialist Operations)

Succeeded by
Patricia Gallan