UK's top female police officer speaks at St George's Chapel

UK's top female police officer speaks at St George's Chapel

Reporter:

Francis Batt

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UK's top female police officer speaks at  St George's Chapel

The country's senior woman police officer has admitted in a speech at St George's Chapel in Windsor that she feels journalists and magistrates gave the police too easy a ride for many years.

Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Cressida Dick told an audience that included the Duke of Edinburgh this week: "This may be an unpopular thing to say but I believe both journalists and many magistrates were far too passive and unquestioning of the police until the 80s."

In 2005 she suffered painful, personal media attention herself - as the officer in charge of the operation which led to the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, wrongly suspected of being a suicide bomber.

Speaking to the Express before her St George's Chapel lecture on Monday, she said: "When you are a police officer you are trained to expect to have a high profile if you are involved in a high profile case. I would never have wished for it to happen in the circumstances it did.

"But I have no complaints about the way I was treated by the media."

She was the latest in a long line of major public figures invited to deliver the celebrated St George's House lecture at Windsor Castle in front of the Duke of Edinburgh on Monday.

She seemed to represent the modern face of the Met when as acting deputy commissioner of the Met this January, she publicly praised the family of Stephen Lawrence for their years of campaigning after two men were imprisoned for his murder after 18 years.

Just before delivering her lecture on Monday she told the Express she had not applied to become deputy commissioner permanantly, as it would have diverted her from her work in counter terrorism.

She said: "I want to concentrate on that and see it as my job for years to come."

Later during her lecture she said: "The nature of the terrorist threat has changed in the seven years since the dark days of July 2005. The threat has diversified but it endures."

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