The new Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick has confirmed that she is in a same-sex relationship with a colleague.
Speaking publicly for the first time since her appointment with The Evening Standard, the Scotland Yard Commissioner said she believed ‘passionately’ that every modern police force must represent the communities it serves.
“I do believe that one of the great things that has happened in my working life is the extraordinary change in the position of women. However, that is not where it should be, yet. There is pay inequality,” she said.
A controversial decision taken by Dick since becoming Head of the Met was a £40,000 voluntary cut in her salary – she is entitled to and was offered £270,000 but accepted £230,000.
The move was construed as complicated, considering she is a woman. However, she explained her reasons why: “It was a very personal thing. I was not trying to make a big statement. We live in a world where nothing is private. I am not seeking to set a precedent or say to my senior team anything other than you are entitled to the money.
“I was simply saying that for me, I don’t need that money, my family do not need that money, and that this is a time of austerity and the Met is under pressure.
“It has certainly been put to me, about women earning less. I have fought for equality and fair treatment throughout my working life. I joined the police, actually, to protect the weak from the strong and to make the world a better place.”
Dick spoke about her career, the evolution of threats and how security will adapt, and developing a more approachable relationship with the public. Currently, Dick is working on a modernisation programme, introducing “more digital ways of engaging with people,” and electronic form-filling and data-based policing.
Following the tragic Westminster attack which left six dead, including the attacker and PC Keith, Palmer and fifty injured, Dick spoke about how she is heartened by the public’s willingness to carry on as normal and their goodwill towards to the police. “I am just saying to all our officers — let’s build on this, something good must come out of all that horror, and one of the things we must build on is that goodwill,” she said.
Also, opening up about her personal life, Dick confirmed that she is in a same-sex relationship with partner, Helen, a response team inspector at a police station south London.
“I am a very happy person, I have a lovely life, very privileged,” she continued. “I came from a warm, close family who for generations were involved in public service. I joined the police because I wanted to be involved with a much wider range of people. I wanted to be in a team and doing something important.”
At present, two women are looking after the security of London - the Home Secretary and the Met Commissioner. Dick hopes that this will encourage other women into a male-dominated sector.
“To change the whole face of the Met takes a long time,” Dick added. “We should have higher rates of women — this is London. I want us to be leading in every way. I am just as interested in diversity of thought as I am on visible characteristics.”