February 11, 2022 2.30 pm

Call for Humberside Chief Constable to replace Cressida Dick at Met Police

‘It needs someone with experience in turning around a police force in crisis’

By Local Democracy Reporter

A former North East Lincolnshire councillor has suggested Humberside Police Chief Constable Lee Freeman would be ideal to take over the country’s top police job.

Commissioner Cressida Dick has been forced to resign from the Metropolitan Police after criticisms of her leadership.

With the search on for her replacement, one candidate could be a Chief Constable with a successful record of turning around struggling forces and working across party lines.

Matthew Brown, who represented Cleethorpes, thinks Lee Freeman is the right man for job.

Grimsby-born Mr Freeman took over Humberside Police in 2017, when the force was rated inadequate and had one of the lowest staff morale rates in the country.

Within 12 months, he had taken it out of special measures and was commended for the rapid improvements.

Mr Brown said: “Lee Freeman has always said that being Chief Constable of his home force is the greatest professional honour he has had. He said from his first day in the role that he would do the area he grew up in proud.

“However, the pull of the nation’s greatest policing office could prove too strong for him to resist as the Met seeks to renew public confidence in the midst of crisis.

“Mr Freeman surely has a strong reputation. Whilst Humberside Police may not be seen as glamorous as many other police force areas, it has undoubtedly got similar challenges to its more famous counterpart.

“Moreover, the Met needs someone who has experience in turning a police force in crisis with low public confidence around. The answer to our nation’s capital’s policing issues could be Lincolnshire’s own son Lee Freeman.

“The Humberside Chief Constable is respected by all parties, with the Conservative South Bank and the Labour North Bank all recognising the outstanding leadership the Chief Constable has provided in reinvigorating and re-engaging a police force that was once one of the worst in the country but is now a shining beacon of exemplary performance.

“The respect from the two key political parties could prove important as the Home Secretary Priti Patel and the London City Mayor Sadiq Khan come from opposite ends of the political spectrum.”

A spokesperson for the Chief Constable declined to comment on whether he would be interested in the position.

Dame Cressida’s resignation comes after a watchdog found discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment among Met police officers.

A serving officer was also convicted of murdering Sarah Everard last year.

Home Secretary Priti Patel will appoint the commissioner’s replacement in consultation with London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Assistant Met Commissioners Matt Jukes and Neil Basu are thought to be under consideration.