Security Professionals' Commissioner's Dinner

Wednesday 24th April 2019

It was a privilege to be invited to the Commissioner's Dinner of the Security Professionals' Company. Held at Vintners' Hall, this was very much an industry event that brought together senior figures from both the security profession and policing. The Mistress and I were unusual in being external guests. As the name of the event suggests, the Principal Guest & Speaker was Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service and I was honoured to be seated with her at dinner.

Given the heightened terrorist tensions around the world during the weeks leading up to the event plus the demands placed on the Metroplitan Police with the ongoing Extinction Rebellion in Central London it was great to see that the Commissioner was actually available that night. The fact that she was there was a measure of the importance placed on the relationship with the Security Professionals' Company and the occasion itself. Cressida Dick spoke eloquently without notes on these current topics and a number of others for a half hour, providing great insights into the achievements as well as the challenges facing her police force. This included uncomfortable truths about knife crime, the scourge of today's society, along with strong and reassuring messages about progress in its reduction.

With the formal part of the speech over, the Commissioner then opened the floor to questions which also ran for around a half hour. Here, prominent figures queried the Commissioner and tested her on many subjects, all of which were handled with great skill and candour. By the end of this two part process, I was left in no doubt about the extraordinary prowess and capability of this powerful woman. Not only does she have a formidable command of her brief but this combines with great humanity; her piercing persceptions built not just from intellect but a rich life-time of public service. To know that such people lead the organisations that keep our nation safe is something for which one can only be truly grateful.