Former Police Scotland chief to take temporary charge of the Met

It comes after the resignation of Dame Cressida Dick.

Former Police Scotland chief constable Stephen House to take temporary charge of the Met iStock

A former Police Scotland chief constable who resigned following controversies including the force’s failings over a fatal crash is to temporarily take charge of the Metropolitan Police.

Sir Stephen House quit the post in 2015, having served as a police officer for 35 years.

He faced severe pressure to resign after it took three days for his officers to respond to the deaths of John Yuill and Lamara Bell after they crashed just off the M9 near Stirling.

The Glasgow-born officer was also criticised over policies on armed policing and stop and search.

In December 2018, he was appointed as deputy commissioner of the Met, having previously served as assistant commissioner for Met Operations.

On Monday, it was announced that Dame Cressida Dick will leave her job as head of the Met in April.

Dame Cressida quit last month, but agreed to stay on until arrangements to find a replacement are finalised.

In a written statement to the House of Commons, the UK’s home secretary Priti Patel confirmed that the circumstances of Dame Cressida’s resignation will also be reviewed.

And it was confirmed that Sir Stephen will temporarily fill the role as head of the force until a permanent successor is found.

Patel’s written statement added: “The Metropolitan Police Service faces major challenges and needs to demonstrate sustained improvements in order to regain public trust in London and nationally.

“It is vital that we get the right person for the biggest leadership role in policing in this country.

“I will shortly launch the process to recruit a new commissioner and anticipate that it will conclude in the summer. I will then make my formal recommendation to Her Majesty the Queen.

“My recommendation will pay regard to the views of the mayor of London, as occupant of the mayor’s office for policing and crime.

“In the immediate term following Dame Cressida’s departure, legislation enables the deputy commissioner, Sir Steve House, to exercise temporarily the powers and duties of the Commissioner.

“Sir Steve and the mayor of London must drive improvement even before the next Commissioner is in place to ensure that the Metropolitan Police Service restores trust and takes every necessary action to keep the public safe.”

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