The Metropolitan Police have announced the next person to take over as the force’s commissioner.
Sir Mark Rowley will take over the top post after Dame Cressida Dick resigned from the post earlier this year.
Dame Cressida has been told by London Mayor Sadiq Khan that he no longer has “enough confidence” in their leadership amid a series of controversies surrounding the Met Police.
These included dealing with the Sarah Everard case and allegations of sexism, misogyny, racism and discrimination within the force.
Who is Sir Mark Rowley?
Sir Mark Rowley is a Senior Police Officer with the Met Police and held the role of Deputy Commissioner for Special Operations from 2011 to 2015.
The Cambridge-trained police officer was announced to be retiring from the police force in March 2018 after Neil Basu succeeded him.
Sir Mark has received numerous honors throughout his career, including the Queen’s Police Medal in 2010 and a Knight Bachelor in 2018, the latter of which gave him use of the title ‘Sir’.
Why did Cressida Dick resign?
Dame Cressida, who became the first woman to fill the role, resigned in February 2022.
Her resignation came amid high-profile controversy in the Met Police.
The force has faced criticism over the Sarah Everard case. The 33-year-old was killed by an acting police officer, Wayne Couzens, who raised questions about culture within the force, while officers were also criticized for responding to a candlelight vigil held for the young woman after her death.
Met Police have also been criticized for their slow response in launching an investigation into Partygate gatherings at Downing Street.
Allegations of sexism and discrimination within the Met police force followed Dame Cressida until she resigned after shocking news was uncovered between officers at Charing Cross police station.
A February 2022 IOPC report exposed the messages, which contained racist, violent, homophobic and misogynistic language used in conversations between colleagues.
These included jokes about rape and domestic violence, as well as derogatory jokes about people with disabilities.
After the news broke, London Mayor Sadiq Khan “admitted” Dame Cressida before telling her he had lost confidence in her leadership and forcing her to resign.
Other controversies during her time in the role included failure to properly investigate Stephen Port, who was later convicted of the 2016 rape and murder of four men.
Why wasn’t Nick Ephgrave cast for the role?
After Dame Cressida’s retirement, many expected Nick Ephgrave to take on the role.
Mr Ephgrave is currently the Deputy Commissioner of the Met Police, leading many to believe he was a natural successor to Dame Cressida.
While he made the final round of selection for the job – only he and Sir Mark remaining in the running – he was unsuccessful.
It is believed the new commissioner was expected to identify appropriate changes he would make in the Met police to address some of the issues and controversies of recent years.
What is Sir Mark Rowley’s book The Sleep of Reason about?
Prior to his appointment as Met Police Commissioner, Sir Mark co-authored a book on counter-terrorism with journalist David Derbyshire called The Sleep of Reason.
The novel is a thriller and focuses on an attack on a theme park that sparks terrorist attacks across Britain.
The main character, detective inspector Sophie Gabriel, works throughout the novel to prevent rival Islamist and neo-Nazi groups from inciting violence to the streets.