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She said : I want to bear down on violent crime, in all its aspects from terrorism to sexual offences but definitely knife and gun crime particularly as it affects young people. Its an absolute tragedy losing young people in the way we have been to knife crime. We are seeing too many young people carrying knives feeling that it will protect them when in actual fact it clearly doesnt and can be incredibly dangerous and can be tragic for them and their families. Ms Dick, a former head of counter terrorism, said tackling crime should be about an end to end approach. She said : You have to prevent people getting involved and you have to intervene, really, really strongly with people who are habitual knife carriers, and that includes stop and search definitely. A key aim was to win the support of Londoners, she said. This is about bearing down on criminals and doing it through gaining the confidence of our communities and getting them involved in our work and feeling that this a police service that is protecting them, that is for them. The recent 600m cuts, with more in the pipeline, had forced the Met to prioritise, she said saying we may have to stop doing some things. However, she dismissed the simplistic link between cuts and a rise in crime as “ridiculous” saying were, a whole set of things going on.” On her salary cut, she said had not intended to make a statement or create a precedent, saying simply: It was a very personal thing. I was simply saying that for me I dont need that money, my family do not need that money and this is a time of austerity and the Met is under pressure. She is reticent about her family and circumstances, disclosing only that she is in a relationship with another Met officer, an inspector called Helen, saying she is incredibly well supported. I am a very happy person. Her style, she says, is relaxed and friendly but she says : “I am pretty demanding, I am known as tough, not a soft touch, but I try to be friendly and I want my staff to feel they can come up and chat to me and tell me what they think. “I like people to be challenging, one of the great hazards in a big institution is group think, people feeling inhibited form expressing their opinion. Ms Dicks appointment was criticised by the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, who was wrongly shot dead at Stockwell underground station during an operation she led in 2005 in the aftermath of the 7/7 London bombings. The Brazilian was mistakenly identified as a terror suspect and a jury later found the Met had broken health and safety laws, but found there was “no personal culpability for Commander Cressida Dick”. Today she is open about the incident, describing his death as a terrible, terrible thing, something that everyone who was involved that day regrets and none of us can put ourselves in the shoes of his family. She says she respects the familys position but does not agree with them, saying she thought deeply about the incident before applying.
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