Page last updated at 04:08 GMT, Thursday, 31 December 2009

Honour for Met chief who led de Menezes operation

Cressida Dick
Cressida Dick became a Met commander in July 2001

The senior Metropolitan Police officer who led the operation that ended with the death of Jean Charles de Menezes in south London has been honoured.

Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick was awarded a Queen's Police Medal for distinguished service.

She oversaw the operation that mistook Mr de Menezes for a suicide bomber - he was shot at Stockwell Tube station in July 2005.

Campaigners for the family said they were disappointed about the honour.

Cmdr Dick, 47, was born and brought up in Oxford. She was educated at Oxford High School, went on to join the university and graduated from Balliol College.

She has had a notable career at Thames Valley Police and the Metropolitan Police and is now arguably Britain's most senior woman officer.

Rewarding Ms Dick after her role in the biggest policing scandal of the decade displays woeful disregard for both the de Menezes family and broader public opinion
Family spokesman

But her actions over Mr de Menezes' death 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.

But a spokesman for the de Menezes family criticised the awarding of the honour.

"Rewarding Ms Dick after her role in the biggest policing scandal of the decade displays woeful disregard for both the de Menezes family and broader public opinion.

"It is only one year since an inquest jury flatly rejected the police account that Jean was lawfully killed."

He added: "Handing out congratulatory medals makes a mockery of real commitment to that process."

The Metropolitan Police declined to comment on the family's criticism of Cmdr Dick's honour, saying it was not "up to them" who is named in the New Year Honours list.

Campaigners for the Menezes family recently agreed a secret compensation deal with police.



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