LONDON -- The British government announced Friday that Mark Rowley, a veteran counterterrorism officer, will become the new chief for London's troubled Metropolitan Police force.
After a series of scandals that undermined public confidence, Rowley was appointed commissioner of Scotland Yard. He had been head of counterterrorism at Scotland Yard between 2014-2018. His task will be to restore the image of the force, which was placed in "special actions" last month by the country’s police watchdog.
Rowley's predecessor Cressida Dick resigned in February following a dispute with Sadiq Khan, London Mayor. Khan claimed that Dick was not doing enough to address allegations of racism and misogyny in the police ranks.
Rowley, 57 years old, said he would "fight crime together with communities - and not unilaterally dispense strategies."
Since Wayne Couzens (a former police officer) was convicted in 2021 of kidnapping and raping Sarah Everard while she was walking home in London at night, the force has been under severe pressure to reform. Heavy criticism was also directed at the police force's handling of protests and vigils against Everard's murder.
An investigation into a culture that enables misogyny and bullying at Charing Cross, a London police station, revealed that it was the result of a harassment scandal.
The police force was criticized for its handling of the murders in London in 2020 of two Black sisters. Their bodies were found by a family search party. Police weren't looking for them. They also failed to stop Stephen Port, a serial killer who killed four young men he had met online.
Rowley's starting date has not been revealed.