There needs to be urgent change as women’s confidence in police has been shattered following Sarah Everard’s murder, writes Labour MP Harriet Harman
Cressida Dick must resign because there needs to be urgent change and it needs to be led by somebody who absolutely recognises what the problems are and is determined to tackle them – she has shown no sign of taking that action, even when it was clear in March that Sarah Everard’s killer was a serving police officer.
It’s not about a symbolic ‘heads must roll’ – it’s about making sure that change happens and that it is led by someone who understands the necessity for it and will deliver it.
I know she is committed to the Met Police and the safety of women and girls on the street, but she has not proved capable of truly recognising, let alone tackling, the macho, sexist culture in the police and therefore she needs to step aside for someone who does.
Women’s confidence in the police has been shattered.
It is disappointing that this has happened under the Met’s first female commissioner but we have to think first and foremost the job that needs to be done and about the protection for women and girls that needs to be afforded.
The Government needs to be overseeing these changes and ensuring they happen – I have written to Home Secretary Priti Patel with a seven-step plan to reform the police, including the proposal that all serving police officers against whom there has been an allegation of violence against women should be suspended, and that this should become routine.
Home Office guidance also needs to be changed to sweep away some of the difficulties there are in sacking police officers for misconduct and they need to bring in new laws to stop street harassment of women so we can have zero tolerance.