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Institute of Criminology



Dame Cressida retired in 2022 after five years as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and 38 years in public service as a police officer in the UK. She was brought up and educated in Oxford, before beginning her policing career as a patrol constable on the streets of Soho in London, where she served in various operational roles in the MPS and Thames Valley Police in the 80's and 90's. In 2000, she took a career break to study full time for the MPhil in Criminology at Cambridge before returning to the MPS as a Chief Officer, undertaking roles primarily in serious and organised crime and counterterrorism and security. In 2006, she was promoted to Deputy Assistant Commissioner (Security and Protection) MPS. Then in 2009 she was promoted to Assistant Commissioner (Specialist Crime) in the MPS - the first woman to become an Assistant Comissioner, and went onto lead the UK's Specialist Crime Directorate acting as a hostage negotiator, and a public order and firearms commander. She also led the MPS response to a large number of major incidents and complex investigations. In addition to this, in late 2011 and 2012 she briefly served as Acting Deputy Commissioner (MPS).  In 2015, she retired from the MPS and accepted a role in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She returned to the MPS in 2017 as MPS Commissioner, becoming the first woman to hold this post.

She holds Honorary Fellowships at Fitzwilliam College and Balliol College Oxford, and she is a Governor of the Ditchley Foundation.

She now divides her time between London and the West Country. Her interests include walking, swimming and gardening and enjoying the countryside, travel, watching sports and visiting galleries with her partner Helen.