Europe

UK appoints 1st female Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

FILE - In this Thursday Nov. 1, 2007 file photo, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, center, of London's Metropolitan Police leaves the Central Criminal Court in London, following the verdict that London's police force was found guilty of endangering public safety during an anti-terrorist operation that led to the shooting death of a Brazilian man Jean Charles de Menezes. The British government says senior officer Cressida Dick will be the next commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police - the first woman to lead Scotland Yard in its 188-year history. The Home Office announced the appointment of 56-year-old Dick on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.  (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, file)

FILE - In this Thursday Nov. 1, 2007 file photo, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, center, of London's Metropolitan Police leaves the Central Criminal Court in London, following the verdict that London's police force was found guilty of endangering public safety during an anti-terrorist operation that led to the shooting death of a Brazilian man Jean Charles de Menezes. The British government says senior officer Cressida Dick will be the next commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police - the first woman to lead Scotland Yard in its 188-year history. The Home Office announced the appointment of 56-year-old Dick on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, file)  (The Associated Press)

The British government says senior officer Cressida Dick will be the next commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police — the first woman to lead Scotland Yard in its 188-year history.

Dick, a former assistant commissioner of the force, succeeds Bernard Hogan-Howe, who is stepping down next week.

The Home Office announced the appointment of 56-year-old Dick on Wednesday.

Dick is highly regarded by many Scotland Yard peers, but she has drawn criticism for commanding an operation in the wake of the July 2005 London bombings in which an innocent Brazilian man, Jean Charles de Menezes, was shot dead by police after being mistaken for a suicide bomber.

A jury cleared Dick of blame, but relatives of de Menezes' had called for her not to be given the top job.