Met chief Cressida Dick backs 'traditional' policing call


The head of the UK's largest police force has backed a call for officers to focus on "traditional values".

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said she "absolutely" agreed with a senior officer who said forces were too stretched to pursue "deserving" issues.

National Police Chiefs' Council chair Sara Thornton had said incidents of misogyny should not be pursued.

Ms Dick said her priority in London was tackling violent crime.

Speaking at the London Assembly, she said: "There's never been a fag paper between us on this... I'm with Sara."

Amid a fresh debate about police priorities, Ms Thornton said that although it may be "desirable" to log incidents of misogyny, forces did not have the resources to deal with such cases and should "refocus on core policing" - such as tackling violent crime and burglary.

She also said investigating claims against dead people was taking resources away from investigating "today's crime today".

In her remarks, the Met Commissioner suggested there was a need to limit criminal inquiries into dead people to those cases where there were co-conspirators who are alive.

Ms Dick said: "When I talked about traditional values what I meant was policing by consent, local policing and in particular our core values of courage, professionalism, integrity and of compassion.

"That's quite historic and quite old-fashioned in a sense but I'm contrasting that with the need to be very modern in our approach."

She added: "Violent crime is too high in London and that will be my priority.

"I define it broadly from terrorism through to sexual offences and child protection and street violence and domestic abuse."

Media caption,
Chief Constable Sara Thornton: "The reality is we can't just do everything"

Speaking to police chiefs and police and crime commissioners on Wednesday, Ms Thornton expressed concern about a government-commissioned review into whether misogyny should be treated as a hate crime.

However, her remarks have faced criticism.

Sue Fish, the former chief constable of Nottinghamshire Police, which has been reporting incidents of misogyny as a hate crime for the past two years, described Ms Thornton's comments as "shameful".

She told BBC Radio 4's The World at One: "We're reinforcing that women are not worthy of any sort of service from the police," she said, adding that historically, police treatment of female victims of rape and domestic violence had been "appalling".