The commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service in London announced on Thursday that she would step down, under pressure from the mayor over reports of bullying, misogyny and racism on the force.
In a statement, the commissioner, Cressida Dick, made clear that she had lost the support of London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, less than two weeks after a report from England’s official police watchdog described London police officers routinely making jokes about rape and exchanging racist messages.
Ms. Dick’s leadership had also come under intense scrutiny after the kidnapping, rape and murder of Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old London woman, by a Metropolitan Police Service officer in March 2021. The killing fueled broader concerns about misogyny within policing, and violence against women and girls.
“It is with huge sadness that following contact with the mayor of London today, it is clear that the mayor no longer has sufficient confidence in my leadership to continue,” Ms. Dick said in her statement on Thursday. “He has left me no choice but to step aside as commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service.”
At Mr. Khan’s request, Ms. Dick, 61, said she had agreed to stay on for a “short period” while the service transitioned to a new commissioner.
Mr. Khan said on Thursday that he had made clear to Ms. Dick last week “the scale of the change I believe is urgently required to rebuild the trust and confidence of Londoners in the Met and to root out the racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying, discrimination and misogyny that still exists.”
“I am not satisfied with the commissioner’s response,” he said in a statement.
“On being informed of this, Dame Cressida Dick has said she will be standing aside,” Mr. Khan continued. “It’s clear that the only way to start to deliver the scale of the change required is to have new leadership right at the top of the Metropolitan Police.”
A onetime beat cop in the city’s West End, Ms. Dick became the first woman to lead Scotland Yard in its 188-year history when she was appointed in 2017.
A graduate of Oxford and Cambridge, she led the police force through a tumultuous period that included a terrorist attack on London Bridge and near Borough Market that killed eight people in 2017, a devastating fire that year in Grenfell Tower, a high-rise residential building, that killed 72 people and, more recently, large-scale protests over law enforcement practices.
“I’m incredibly proud of my team and all they have achieved,” Ms. Dick said. “Since Day 1, tackling violence in all its forms has been my No. 1 priority.”
But she added: “The murder of Sarah Everard and many other awful cases recently have, I know, damaged confidence in this fantastic police service. There is much to do — and I know that the Met has turned its full attention to rebuilding public trust and confidence.”
After the police watchdog report was issued, the police service said that the actions detailed within it did “not represent the values” of the force. But Mr. Khan told the BBC this week that he wanted Ms. Dick “to win back the trust and confidence that’s been both knocked and shattered as a consequence of these cases.”
On Thursday, Mr. Khan thanked Ms. Dick for her “40 years of dedicated public service,” and her work in reducing violent crime. He said he would work with Priti Patel, the British home secretary, on the appointment of a new commissioner.
In a statement, Ms. Patel thanked Ms. Dick for her devotion to public service and said that, as the first female police commissioner, Ms. Dick “exemplified the increasingly diverse nature of our police.”
“She would be the first to say she has held the role during challenging times; yet for nearly five years she has undertaken her duties with a steadfast dedication to protecting our capital city and its people — including during the unprecedented period of the pandemic,” Ms. Patel said.
Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, said in a statement that Ms. Dick had “served her country with great dedication and distinction over many decades.”
“I thank her for her role protecting the public and making our streets safer,” he said.