''The Metropolitan Police now has an opportunity to cleanse its stables of corruption and to bring to account those who failed to live up to their public duties.
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Phone Hacking: botched de Menezes operation officer now counter-terrorism head
The police officer who led the botched operation that ended with the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes has been made head of counter-terrorism at the Metropolitan Police Service.
19 Jul 2011
Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, 51, was given the new responsibility following the resignation of John Yates, who stepped down in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.
He had come under increasing pressure over his decision in 2009 that there was no need to reopen the Met's investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World.
The family of Mr Menezes said the public should react to the decision to give Ms Dick the new role with caution, and demand ''accountability and transparency''.
They said the controversial officer needs to have ''learned the lessons'' from the shooting, and that the ''buck now stops with her''.
Asad Rehman, the spokesperson for the Justice 4 Jean campaign said: ''Cressida Dick was at the centre of the storm during the Menezes case.
''She needs to be cognisant of the fact that there were issues regarding her conduct in handling the operations room which gave the green light for the shooting dead of Jean Charles de Menezes.
''She is now in charge of one of the most critical and sensitive areas of policing - that of counter-terrorism. She will only get the full support of the British people if she maintains the highest levels of accountability and transparency.
''She needs to have learnt the lessons both personal and organisational of the tragedy of Jean's death and make sure it's never repeated. The buck now stops with her.''
Ms Dick faced tough questions over her role in the July 22, 2005 Stockwell Tube station shooting at the 2008 inquest into his death.
She was exonerated of blame by a jury at the end of the prosecution of the Met Police under health and safety laws.
She oversaw the fast-moving operation that unfolded as police officers tried to establish whether Mr Menezes was an on-the-run suicide bomber.
Her actions were scrutinised in great detail during an Old Bailey health and safety prosecution and a public inquest.
In a rare move, the Old Bailey jury ruled against the force but said Ms Dick should be absolved of any personal culpability.
Mr Rehman added: ''The Menezes case raised serious issues about both the accountability of and trust in the police. People have not forgotten the lies and deliberate misinformation that they put in the public domain to justify the killing of Jean.
''The News of the World hacking case and the inappropriate relationships senior officers had with senior figures at News International has brought many of those same issues back to the fore, raising questions of integrity of many of the same officers such as John Yates and former officer Andy Hayman.
''The family of Jean faced years of obfuscation from many of these senior officers in their quest for justice.
''The Metropolitan Police now has an opportunity to cleanse its stables of corruption and to bring to account those who failed to live up to their public duties. It cannot afford to sweep these issues under the carpet. Resignations shouldn't be seen as an easy way out from being held to account.''
The assistant commissioner is popular among rank and file at Scotland Yard after officers rallied around her in the wake of the south London shooting.
Despite her role as ''decision maker'' on the day firearms officers gunned down the innocent 27-year-old, she has enjoyed a meteoric rise to become the force's most senior woman.
The Oxford-born officer joined the Metropolitan Police in 1983 and served as a constable, sergeant and inspector before transferring to Thames Valley Police until 2001.
She was promoted to deputy assistant commissioner before becoming the first female assistant commissioner in 2009.
In May 2010 she was honoured for a career that has spanned more than 20 years when she was presented with the Queen's Police Medal by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. Independent