Anti-racism  •  Britain

Met boss keeps top job – for now

07 October 2021

By Marcel Rajecky

THE GOVERNMENT has confirmed that, despite a career of assassination, abuse, cover-up and racism, Cressida Dick will be reappointed as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police for two more years.

The news came as Met police officer Wayne Couzens awaited sentencing for abusing his police powers to kidnap, rape and murder Sarah Everard.

Commissioner Dick, who obeyed the Home Secretary’s instructions to forcibly disperse a peaceful vigil in memory of Sarah at Clapham Common has been rewarded for her loyalty to those she really protects – the elite and their pet politicians.

The attacks in Clapham Common reignited smouldering opposition to London’s infamously violent and unaccountable police, and led to mass protests against the proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which will give the Met even greater powers.

An inquiry by the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of the Constabulary (a government regulator) found that the attacks constituted ‘excessive force’, but there was no inquiry into police failings in regards to Everard’s murder, despite the killer being a serving police officer. The police ignored multiple recent complaints of sexual harassment against him, exhibiting a routine disregard for violence against women and complaints against their own.

Racial profiling

What happened in Clapham Common, however, fits in with Dick’s record. Stop and search – a racist tactic in which police officers target black youth – increased by 30 per cent in her first two years. Before becoming Commissioner, she led the operation in which police executed Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube station under bogus ‘intelligence’, i.e. racial profiling.

Given that past commissioners have been sacked for lesser crimes, Dick’s contract extension is a major vote of confidence from the political class. Like governments across the world, the Tories are handing significant new powers to the police. And they want their people in charge.

In Britain these new powers include more control over protests, the right to arbitrarily arrest demonstrators, and longer sentences for non-violent crimes, in anticipation of the developing economicw and political crises and the threat of another ‘winter of discontent’ – as one Tory backbencher put it.

Former Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Keir Starmer has long been an apologist for, and collaborator with the Met. London’s Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan backs the appointment too. In contrast to these agents of the ruling class, Labour should demand that Dick is sacked, not under illusions that the police could be reformed under a different commissioner, but as part of a wider, principled attempt to defeat the Tories’ reforms to policing which Dick has come to symbolise.

Kill the Bill

The empowering of the police at the expense of civil liberties is not inevitable. In the US, Nigeria and elsewhere mass movements against the police are raising demands to defund and even abolish police forces.

We must replicate such a mass movement in Britain, bringing together supporters of the recent Black Lives Matter and Kill the Bill protests, as well as – crucially – the trade unions. Our aim should be to not only force Dick’s resignation, but defeat the government’s entire policing programme.

Such a mass movement will need to establish working class and community self defence forces to defend racial minorities and activists from police repression and provide the basis for replacing the police entirely, under a socialist system.

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