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Cressida Dick, the former head of UK counter-terrorism, has been appointed Metropolitan Police Commissioner – becoming the first female chief in the force’s 188-year history.

Ms Dick, 56, was appointed by Amber Rudd, the UK’s home secretary, and Sadiq Khan, London mayor, who praised her “long and distinguished career” so far, writes Helen Warrell.

She will take on leadership of London’s policing at a challenging time. The force must make £400m in budget cuts by the end of the decade, while facing an elevated terror threat from Britons who have been radicalised in the Middle East.

After years of plummeting crime rates, violent crime has begun to rise, while the scale of the threat from fraud and cyber offences is finally becoming apparent.

Ms Dick’s rivals for the post were Mark Rowley, the Met’s head of specialist operations, Sara Thornton, former chief constable of Thames Valley police and now president of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, and Stephen Kavanagh, the chief constable of Essex.

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