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Partner of Daniel Whitworth, from Gravesend, who was killed by Grindr killer Stephen Port, welcomes Dame Cressida Dick resignation

The partner of a Gravesend man murdered by serial killer Stephen Port has welcomed the resignation of Dame Cressida Dick, whose tenure also included controversies over the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving PC and how the Met handled the brutal killings of sisters Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry.

Ricky Waumsley, whose partner Daniel Whitworth was one of Stephen Port's victims, had called for the police chief's resignation at the end of last year.

Daniel Whitworth's partner has welcomed the resignation. Picture: PA
Daniel Whitworth's partner has welcomed the resignation. Picture: PA

Former Dartford Grammar student Daniel was the third young man to be given a fatal dose of the date rape drug by Port.

Dame Cressida quit as Metropolitan Police Commissioner yesterday after losing the support of London Mayor Sadiq Khan over her plan to reform the force following a string of scandals and accusations of a toxic working culture.

While in her role as leader of the Met, she also faced criticism over the case of Sarah Everard’s murder at the hands of serving officer Wayne Couzens, and the subsequent treatment by the police of mourners at a vigil in Clapham Common.

And the Ramsgate mother of sisters who were brutally murdered in a London park hit out at what she described as a 'toxic' Met Police culture following claims officers took inappropriate photos of her dead daughters.

Mr Waumsley said his first thought when he heard the news was “about time” and that he hoped more resignations would follow.

“She had clung on to that position so tight when, all around her, the officers she was in charge of have been racist, homophobic and sexist,” he told the PA news agency.

Daniel's family have battled the authorities
Daniel's family have battled the authorities

Mr Waumsley had called for her to quit in December after an inquest jury found police failures had likely contributed to the deaths of Mr Whitworth and those of two more of Port’s victims.

Port, known as the Grindr Killer, drugged, raped and killed four men between June 2014 and September 2015 in Barking, east London, and sexually assaulted more than a dozen others.

The inquests into the four deaths revealed that officers failed to carry out basic evidence gathering such as examining Port’s laptop, testing DNA on bedsheets on which two of the bodies were found, and checking the veracity of a fake suicide note found with Mr Whitworth’s body.

Seventeen officers were investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), and nine were found to have performance failings. None of the nine were disciplined or lost their jobs, and five had been promoted.

Last year, Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball issued an apology on behalf of the Met but rejected the families’ claim that homophobia played a part.

Daniel with his grandma Barbara
Daniel with his grandma Barbara

She said: “We don’t see institutional homophobia. We don’t see homophobia on the part of our officers. We do see all sorts of errors in the investigation, which came together in a truly dreadful way.”

Mr Waumsley said: “When I was let down by the Met police because of their blatant homophobia towards the four victims that Stephen Port killed, and the inquest concluded that the Met failures ‘probably’ contributed to their deaths, I held Cressida accountable for these failures and made a statement that she should ‘resign with immediate effect’. So I am glad.

“This will be a small justice for the four victims and I hope more resignations within the Met police will come.”

Last year, the family of chef Daniel paid tribute to their "pride and joy" and spoke of their pain over his death being treated as suicide.

Wayne Couzens
Wayne Couzens

Ex-PC Wayne Couzens was handed a whole-life term in September after kidnapping, raping and murdering Sarah Everard, 33.

Couzens abducted Ms Everard as she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, on the evening of March 3.

The Metropolitan Police firearms officer, who had been “hunting” for a victim, used his warrant card and handcuffs to snatch the marketing executive off the street using Covid lockdown rules to make a false arrest.

Couzens, had been assigned to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection branch of the force, which protects Government buildings and the Palace of Westminster.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has since launched an inquiry into the crime. Led by Dame Elish Angiolini QC, the inquiry will look at whether any “red flags were missed” earlier in his career.

Sarah Everard
Sarah Everard

Reclaim These Streets (RTS) proposed a socially-distanced vigil for Ms Everard, near to where she went missing in Clapham, south London, in March last year.

However, they were denied permission to hold the organised vigil, with police citing coronavirus regulations.

Instead a spontaneous vigil took place, which ended with police forcibly clearing women from the scene.

The force was heavily criticised for its actions, but later cleared by a police watchdog.

The report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services concluded the police “acted appropriately” when dealing with the event, but also found it was a “public relations disaster” and described some statements made by members of the force as “tone deaf”.

Bibaa Henry, left, and Nicole Smallman, right. Picture: Metropolitan Police
Bibaa Henry, left, and Nicole Smallman, right. Picture: Metropolitan Police

PCs Deniz Jaffer and Jamie Lewis, formerly of the Metropolitan Police, were jailed for two years and nine months each in December for taking photographs of the bodies of sisters Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, and sharing them with friends and colleagues on WhatsApp.

Jaffer and Lewis were assigned to guard the scene after the sisters were found dead in bushes in Fryent Country Park, Wembley, north-west London.

Instead, the officers moved from their posts to take photographs of the bodies, which were then shared with colleagues and friends on WhatsApp.

One was a “selfie-style” image on which Lewis had superimposed his face. The officers’ behaviour also included describing the victims as “dead birds” on WhatsApp groups.

The sisters' mother, Mina Smallman, said the officers' actions "dehumanised" her daughters.

Afterwards, the Metropolitan Police apologised to the victims’ family for the defendants’ “shameful” and “utterly unprofessional” actions.

While there has been much criticism of Dame Cressida following her resignation, some of Kent's Tory MPs praised her for her service.

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale paid tribute and took a swipe at Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

He tweeted: "London and Britain owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dame Cressida Dick for years of police service and for her leadership of the Met.

"History will judge her more kindly than Mr Khan."

Meanwhile, Gillingham and Rainham MP Rehman Chishti tweeted to "thank her for her commitment and dedication to public service."

His post was accompanied by a video of himself asking her questions when he was a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee.

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