In 2014 the notorious Operation Midland was sanctioned by Dame Cressida Dick, who later went on to become Scotland Yard commissioner.
Five years later, when the embarrassing operation began seriously unravelling, she refused to allow an inquiry into the conduct of officers involved.
This was despite former High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques revealing how officers had used false evidence to obtain a search warrant for the raids. Dame Cressida said that an inquiry would be ‘completely improper’.
A report in 2020 found the Metropolitan Police was more interested in covering up mistakes than learning from them.
Dame Cressida was also slammed by the families of victims of VIP paedophile ring fantasist Carl Beech, whose spurious allegations were investigated by police – ruining the lives and reputations of those he accused
The Hampshire home of the Queen’s confidant, Lord Bramall – who was also former head of the Armed Forces – had been invaded by police with search warrants in the early hours on the basis of spurious allegations of abuse by paedophile Carl Beech, a palpable fantasist.
After the Daily Mail exposed him, Beech was jailed. Before he died, D-Day hero Lord Bramall told his son Nick that ‘he had never been so mortally wounded, even in battle’.
Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, who received a substantial payout after his life was ruined by the disastrous paedophile inquiry, last night expressed his delight at Dame Cressida’s downfall.
He was among seven high-profile victims of the Met – including Baroness Lawrence, whose son Stephen’s 1993 murder investigation was botched by racist officers – who last year came together in a Mail interview to accuse Dame Cressida of having ‘presided over a culture of incompetence’.
In March last year, 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard was abducted, raped and murdered by serving Met police officer Wayne Couzens.
It then emerged Couzens had not been vetted properly and Met officers had failed to investigate after he was reported flashing women days before the murder.
But perhaps the worst moment for Dame Cressida Dick was her officers’ heavy-handed policing of a vigil for the murdered woman at Clapham Common in South London.
Photographs of protesting women being pinned down by arresting officers who cited Covid restrictions on gatherings were published around the world, sparking condemnation.
When Couzens was convicted, it was dubbed Scotland Yard’s ‘darkest day’. Dame Cressida stood outside the Old Bailey and humbly admitted the murder had corroded trust in the police and brought ‘shame’ on her force.
In December last year, two Scotland Yard officers who took photos of the bodies of two murder victims were jailed.
The sisters who died – Nicole Smallman, 27, and 46-year-old Bibaa Henry, were black and there were accusations of racism. 2021 was also the force’s worst ever year for teenage killings, with 30 deaths.
Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, who were stabbed to death in Wembley last year
Further mock-ups of messages sent by a male officer during another shocking conversation on WhatsApp
Earlier this year, details emerged of horrific messages exchanged by officers at Charing Cross police station, by an official watchdog report.
Some 14 officers were investigated as a result, with two found to have a case to answer for gross misconduct.
One was sacked and another resigned before he would have been dismissed. Another two had already left, while in some of the other cases the Independent Office of Police Conduct found ‘no further action should be taken’.
Incredibly, nine officers kept their jobs and two were promoted – but their sickening WhatsApp messages exposed an ongoing culture of racism, sexism and bullying.
It appears this sickening episode was the straw which finally broke the back. For, by the end, it was clear that confidence in the police chief had gone.
In 2019, the force was widely condemned for its ‘light-touch’ policing of Extinction Rebellion protests, which blocked several key areas of London.
Under her watch, career eco-activists from XR and its off-shoot Insulate Britain were given free rein to cause mayhem.
Ambulances were stopped from getting through, while businesses and workers were forced to halt their activities.
A low point came when police were filmed asking road-blocking protesters if they needed anything – rather than just arresting them.
Perhaps the most jaw-dropping condemnation of Dame Cressida came in June of last year when an official report described her force as ‘institutionally corrupt’.
And far from blaming the fiasco on a predecessor, it concluded that she had personally placed ‘hurdles’ in the way of a search for the truth about the death of Daniel Morgan – a private investigator who was brutally murdered in a south London pub car park in 1987.
Daniel Morgan was investigating claims of corruption within the Metropolitan Police when he was murdered in 1987 – and the force failed him and his family ever since. His brother Alastair told the media that Cressida Dick should resign
Dame Cressida was accused of ‘obfuscation’ for thwarting the Morgan inquiry team’s attempts to access sensitive documents, leading to delays that cost the taxpayer millions. The report by Baroness O’Loan found that Scotland Yard was ‘institutionally corrupt’.
The Met has never found Mr Morgan’s murderer, but there were long-standing allegations of police corruption over the killing and the aftermath.
Mr Morgan’s brother Alastair also joined Baroness Lawrence, Harvey Proctor and Lord Bramall in a devastating and unprecedented joint interview with the Daily Mail.
They all signed a letter to the PM demanding Dame Cressida’s resignation. Instead she clung on.
An inquest jury ruled in December that failures by Met detectives contributed to the deaths of a serial killer’s three final victims.
Stephen Port killed four men, all aged in their early 20s, by giving them overdoses of the date rape drug gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) at his east London home between June 2014 and September 2015.
He was jailed for life at the Old Bailey in 2016 for the murders and a string of sex assaults.
The inquest found police failed to carry out even basic checks after each murder.
A solicitor for the victims’ families said the Met’s actions were driven in part by homophobia.
Last week watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) announced it will re-investigate the Met’s handling of the case.
In April it emerged that five Met officers are to face a gross misconduct hearing over their stop and search of Team GB athlete Bianca Williams in 2020.
The sprinter and partner Ricardo Dos Santos, the Portuguese athlete, were stopped in their car in west London, and separated from their three-month-old son who was in the back of the vehicle.
Nothing illegal was found in the search and the couple, who are black, claim they were racially profiled.
Last month the IOPC confirmed it was investigating a series of cases which involved teenage girls who were on their period being strip-searched by Met officers.
Two of the cases, involving a black girl named only as ‘Child Q’ and a mixed race girl known as ‘Olivia’, took place in December 2020. A third case is also under scrutiny.
Child Q was strip-searched at her school in Hackney, east London, by two female after being wrongly suspected of carrying drugs.