Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

Last updated

Commissioner of Police
of the Metropolis
Met Commissioner Eppaulette.svg
Keith Palmer's funeral (006) (cropped).jpg
Dame Cressida Dick

since 10 April 2017
Reports toThe Home Secretary
AppointerThe Monarch
on advice of the Home Secretary
Term length At Her Majesty's pleasure
Deputy Deputy Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

City hall London at dawn (cropped).jpg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Clock Tower - Palace of Westminster, London - May 2007 icon.png   Londonportal
A coloured voting box.svg   Politicsportal

The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis is the head of London's Metropolitan Police Service. Cressida Dick was appointed to the post in 2017, and assumed office on 10 April. [1]


The Commissioner is regarded as the highest ranking police officer in the United Kingdom, although their authority is generally confined to the Metropolitan Police Service's area of operation, the Metropolitan Police District. However, unlike other police forces the Metropolitan Police has certain national responsibilities such as leading counter-terrorism policing and the protection of the Royal Family and senior members of Her Majesty's Government. Furthermore, the postholder is directly accountable to the Home Secretary and the public nationally amongst many others (the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime, the Mayor of London, Londoners) whereas smaller police forces are only accountable to residents and their local Police and Crime Commissioner or police authority. [2]

The rank is usually referred to as the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, the Met Commissioner or simply just "Commissioner".

The Commissioner's annual salary without pension contributions or allowances from 1 September 2016 is £270,648 + £2,373.


The rank of Commissioner was created by the Metropolitan Police Act 1829; until 1855, the post was held jointly by two officers, but after the Metropolitan Police Act 1856 it was merged into a single post. The Commissioners were Justices of the Peace and not sworn constables until 1 April 1974. [3] The title Commissioner was not used until 1839.[ citation needed ]

The insignia of rank is a crown above a Bath Star, known as "pips", above crossed tipstaves within a wreath, very similar to the insignia worn by a full general in the British Army. This badge is all but unique within the British police, shared only with the Commissioner of the City of London Police, the smallest territorial police force, and HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary. Like all chief officer ranks in the British police, commissioners wear gorget patches on the collars of their tunics. The gorget patches are similar to those worn by generals, aside from being of silver-on-black instead of the Army's gold-on-red. [ citation needed ]

At one time, the commissioners were either retired military officers or civil servants. Sir John Nott-Bower, who served as Commissioner from 1953 to 1958, was the first career police officer to hold the post, despite several previous Commissioners having served in senior administrative positions in colonial forces, and the Metropolitan Police itself. Nott-Bower's successor Sir Joseph Simpson was the first Commissioner to have started his career at the lowest rank of Constable. However, Sir Robert Mark, appointed in 1972, was the first to have risen through all the ranks from the lowest to the highest, as all his successors have done.[ citation needed ]

As of 2008, the post of Commissioner is appointed for a period of five years. [4] Applicants are appointed to the post by the Queen, following a recommendation by the Home Secretary under the Police Act 1996. [4]

Eligibility and accountability

Applicants to the post of Commissioner had to be British citizens, and be "serving UK chief constables or of equivalent UK ranks and above, or have recent experience at these levels". [4] The post of Commissioner is "accountable to the Home Secretary; to the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime, and must answer to Londoners and the public nationally." [4]

The requirement to be a British national blocked the appointment of non-British Commissioners in the past. In August 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron wanted former Los Angeles Police Department Chief Bill Bratton to become the new Met Police Commissioner, but this was blocked by the Home Office pointing out that the Commissioner has to be British. [5] This changed with an amendment to the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 whereby a person who is or has been "a police officer in an approved overseas police force, of at least the approved rank" could be appointed, in addition to "a constable in any part of the United Kingdom". [6] [7]

The selection process in 2017 to select Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe's successor involved the candidates undergoing psychometric testing in addition to interviews with the Home Secretary, Mayor of London and Policing Minister. The process is conducted in private and the Home Office has specifically called for a "news blackout." [8] The discussion and public profile of the candidates was limited to speculation and rumour, with the Home Office refusing to even confirm the shortlisted candidates covered in the media. [9]

The Centre for Public Safety has recommended the selection process be reformed, to provide opportunities for greater public, community and workforce engagement in the process. In particular, suggesting a series of community interview panels and a public candidate forum – though they maintain that the final decision should still rest with the Home Secretary. [10]

List of Commissioners

#FromToMilitary rank
(if applicable)
118291850 Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Charles Rowan KCB First Joint Commissioner
218291868 Sir Richard Mayne KCBSecond Joint Commissioner (1829–1850) then First Joint Commissioner (1850–1855) and finally Commissioner (1855-1868)
318501855 Captain William Hay CB Second Joint Commissioner
418681869 Lieutenant-Colonel Douglas Labalmondière CBActing
518691886 Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Edmund Henderson KCB
618861888 Major-General Sir Charles Warren GCMG, KCBLater returned to military duties
718881890 James Monro CBSenior civil servant before becoming Assistant Commissioner (Crime) and then Commissioner
818901903 Colonel Sir Edward Bradford Bt. GCB, GCVO, KCSI
919031918 Sir Edward Henry Bt. GCVO, KCB, CSI, KPM Senior civil servant before being appointed Inspector-General of Police of Bengal. Later served in other senior police appointments before becoming Commissioner.
1019181920 General Sir Nevil Macready GCMG, KCB
1119201928 Brigadier-General Sir William Horwood GBE, KCB, DSO
1219281931 General The Viscount Byng of Vimy KCB, KCMG
1319311935 Marshal of the Royal Air Force The Lord Trenchard GCB, GCVO, DSOSee Hugh Trenchard as Metropolitan Police Commissioner for details.
1419351945 Air Vice-Marshal Sir Philip Game GCB, GCVO, GBE, KCMG, DSO
1519451953 Sir Harold Scott GCVO, KCB, KBE Previously a senior civil servant. First Commissioner without any police or military background since Sir Richard Mayne.
1619531958 Sir John Nott-Bower KCVO, KPMNott-Bower had previously served in the Indian police, rising to the rank of superintendent.
1719581968 Sir Joseph Simpson KBE, KPFSM Graduated from the Hendon Police College, as an acting station inspector after having joined as a constable.
1819681972 Sir John Waldron KCVOGraduated from the Hendon Police College.
1919721977 Sir Robert Mark GBE, QPM First Metropolitan Commissioner to have risen through all the police ranks from the lowest to the highest
2019771982 Sir David McNee QPM
2119821987 Sir Kenneth Newman GBE, QPM
2219871993 Sir Peter Imbert QPM
2319932000 Sir Paul Condon QPM
2420002005 Sir John Stevens QPM
2520052008 Sir Ian Blair QPM
2620092011 Sir Paul Stephenson QPMIntroduced Single Patrol policy where officers were required to patrol on their own by default
2720112017 Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPMFormerly Chief Constable of Merseyside Police from 2004–2009.
282017 Dame Cressida Dick DBE, QPMFirst woman to be appointed Commissioner. Assumed office on 10 April 2017.

See also

Related Research Articles

A constable is a person holding a particular office, most commonly in criminal law enforcement. The office of constable can vary significantly in different jurisdictions. A constable is commonly the rank of an officer within the police. Other people may be granted powers of a constable without holding this title.

Metropolitan Police Territorial police force responsible for law enforcement in Greater London

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), formerly and still commonly known as the Metropolitan Police and informally as the Met, Scotland Yard, or the Yard, is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement in the Metropolitan Police District, which currently consists of the 32 London boroughs. The MPD does not include the "square mile" of the City of London, which is policed by the much smaller City of London Police.

Law enforcement in the United Kingdom National law enforcement of the UK

Law enforcement in the United Kingdom is organised separately in each of the legal systems of the United Kingdom: England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Most law enforcement is carried out by police officers serving in regional police services within one of those jurisdictions. These regional services are complemented by UK-wide agencies, such as the National Crime Agency and the national specialist units of certain territorial police forces, such as the Specialist Operations directorate of the Metropolitan Police.

City of London Police

The City of London Police is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement within the City of London, including the Middle and Inner Temples. The force responsible for law enforcement within the remainder of the London region, outside the City, is the much larger Metropolitan Police Service, a separate organisation. The City of London, which is now primarily a financial business district with a small resident population but a large commuting workforce, is the historic core of London, and has an administrative history distinct from that of the rest of the metropolis, of which its separate police force is one manifestation.

Chief Constable is the rank used by the chief police officer of every territorial police force in the United Kingdom except for the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police, as well as the chief officers of the three 'special' national police forces, the British Transport Police, Ministry of Defence Police, and Civil Nuclear Constabulary. The title is also held by the chief officers of the principal Crown Dependency police forces, the Isle of Man Constabulary, States of Guernsey Police Service, and States of Jersey Police. The title was also held, ex officio, by the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers under the Police Reform Act 2002. It was also the title of the chief officer of the Royal Parks Constabulary until this agency was disbanded in 2004.

Most of the police forces of the United Kingdom use a standardised set of ranks, with a slight variation in the most senior ranks for the Metropolitan Police Service and City of London Police. Most of the British police ranks that exist today were chosen by Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel, the founder of the Metropolitan Police, enacted under the Metropolitan Police Act 1829. The ranks at that time were deliberately chosen so that they did not correspond with military ranking, because of fears of a paramilitary force.

Chief superintendent is a senior rank in police forces, especially in those organised on the British model.

Police commissioner is a senior rank in many police forces.

Deputy assistant commissioner (DAC), formally Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, is a rank in London's Metropolitan Police Service between assistant commissioner and commander. It is equivalent to deputy chief constable in other British police forces and wears the same insignia: a pip above crossed tipstaves within a wreath.

Cressida Dick Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in London

Dame Cressida Rose Dick is a British senior police officer who in 2017 was appointed Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in London.

Deputy chief constable (DCC) is the second highest rank in all territorial police forces in the United Kingdom. The British Transport Police, Ministry of Defence Police, Civil Nuclear Constabulary, and the Isle of Man Constabulary each also has a DCC.

Northamptonshire Police

Northamptonshire Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing the county of Northamptonshire in the East Midlands of England, in the United Kingdom.

Sir Joseph Simpson, KBE, KPFSM, commonly known as Joe Simpson to his men, was Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, the head of the London Metropolitan Police, from 1958 to 1968. He was the first Commissioner who began his police career as an ordinary constable.

Robert Mark

Sir Robert Mark was an English police officer who served as Chief Constable of Leicester City Police, and later as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police from 1972 to 1977.

Bernard Hogan-Howe, Baron Hogan-Howe

Bernard Hogan-Howe, Baron Hogan-Howe Kt is an English former police officer and was the head of London's Metropolitan Police as Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis from 2011 until 2017.

Assistant commissioner is a rank used in many police forces around the globe. It is also a rank used in revenue administrations in many countries.

Bangladesh Police National police force

The Bangladesh Police of the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a law enforcement agency, operating under the Ministry of Home Affairs. It plays a crucial role in maintaining peace, and enforcement of law and order within Bangladesh. Though the police are primarily concerned with the maintenance of law and order and security of persons and property of individuals, they also play a big role in the criminal justice system.

A police and crime commissioner (PCC) is an elected official in England and Wales responsible for securing efficient and effective policing of a police area. Commissioners replaced the now-abolished police authorities. The first incumbents were elected on 15 November 2012 to serve for three-and-a-half years, but subsequent Commissioners are to be elected for four-year terms. The most recent elections took place in May 2016.

Lynne Gillian Owens, is a senior police officer in the United Kingdom. Since January 2016, she has served as Director-General of the National Crime Agency. As such, she is the one of the most senior law enforcement chiefs in the United Kingdom. She was Assistant Commissioner of Central and Territorial Operations with the Metropolitan Police Service from 2010 to 2012, and the Chief Constable of Surrey Police from 2012 to 2015.

The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) is a national coordination body for law enforcement in the United Kingdom and the representative body for British police chief officers. Established on 1 April 2015, it replaced the former Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), following the Parker Review of the operations of ACPO.


  1. "Cressida Dick appointed as first female Met Police chief". BBC News. 22 February 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  2. Metropolitan Police Authority - the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis Archived 14 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  3. section 1(9)(a) of the Administration of Justice Act 1973 (as in para 10, Schedule 1 to the Act), which came into force 1 April 1974 by section 20 (commencement).
  4. 1 2 3 4 "COMMISSIONER OF POLICE OF THE METROPOLIS Applications are invited from senior police officers for this unique post". Home Office / Metropolitan Police Authority. 7 November 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 January 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2008. The Commissioner is accountable to the Home Secretary; to the MPA, chaired by the Mayor of London; and must answer to Londoners and the public nationally...Applicants should be serving UK chief constables or of equivalent UK ranks and above, or have recent experience at these levels. Because of the role of the Commissioner in national security, applicants must be British citizens. The appointment will be made by Her Majesty The Queen following a recommendation by the Home Secretary under the Police Act 1996. Before making this recommendation the Home Secretary will have regard to any recommendations made to her by the MPA and any representations from the Mayor of London...The appointment will be for a period of five years...Applications to be received by 12 noon on 1st December 2008.
  5. Whitehead, Tom (5 August 2011). "David Cameron's US 'supercop' blocked by Theresa May". Daily Telegraph. London.
  6. "Selection and appointment of Chief Officers". UK Home Office. 9 March 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  7. "Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011". Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  8. Police, Vikram Dodd; correspondent, crime (2 February 2017). "Two women among final four for Metropolitan police top job". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  9. "Two women among four shortlisted in race for top Met job". Evening Standard. 2 February 2017. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  10. "The Next Commissioner: Giving Londoners a voice in the selection of their police chief – The Centre for Public Safety". Retrieved 15 February 2017.