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Profile: The next Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

DAC Sue Akers // Source //

Sue Akers has had the praise hat very few police officers have received in the past. She was today praised by the Prime Minister for her performance in front of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons. The praise itself sets her on course for the top job. It will probably be this government's Home Secretary that will play a 1/3 role in appointing the next Commissioner. Looking beyond the praise, she has been given one of the most significant jobs in police and political history. Her success or failure, as judged in hindsight from a comfortable arm chair, will either make her a hero of her generation, or yet another conspirator in the News International joint enterprise.

Sir Paul Stephenson, The current boss // Source //
I have no doubt that she is on course for the top job...she is a good cop. Not only is she a good cop, but she is the most powerful cop in the country. She has the political and public support to dig where no one has dared dig before. It's almost certain that she will uncover the unexpected and the resulting prosecutions will be beyond even the wildest wet dreams of CamEdClegg.

Lets take a quick look at her background [pdf]. She is MetPol born and bread. She joined in 1976 during a time when female police officers were not taken particularly seriously. Arguably it was the height of police corruption and before the reputation life-belt that was, and still is, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. I think it's important for modern police leaders to have a grasp of how things were pre-PACE, and she certainly has that. Her career has been one of hard work and perseverance, and she has rightly been rewarded with many promotions and now responsibility for one of the most constitutionally challenging investigations in recent history.

DAC Akers giving evidence to the Culture,
Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons
// Source //
Most operational police officers will find themselves on the sharp end of a complaint, it comes with the territory. DAC Akers is no different. In 2006 she was introduced to a CO19 marksman and remarked "I've always wanted to meet the Met's very own serial killer". A throw away remark made between colleagues at a "social function" rarely results in a £5000 pay out to avoid being taken to a tribunal, but on this occasion it did. The CO19 officer remained in his position, although i question his suitability for the job if he feels the need to sue for 'hurt feelings'...but thats by the by, she shouldn't have said it and she paid the price. In the time honoured manner of a British bobbie, she accepted responsibility, took her licks, and continued doing her best with that lesson under her belt.

She has faced the ups and downs of policing, and she has come out the other end with achievements she should be proud of. She has a lot more to give the people of London, but i advise her to approach with caution...the role of Commissioner is innately political and rarely operational.

Her NotW investigation could be the making of a new Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis...or it could be the opportunity she needed to avoid getting in well over her head. Whatever happens, she is a great cop with a lot more to give, and i look forward to seeing her navigate the political landmine that she is currently balancing on the threshold of.