Ex New Zealand police chief who is in the running to become next Met commissioner has drink-drive conviction after he was caught over limit while off-duty in 1983
- Ex-Kiwi police chief in running to replace Cressida Dick had brush with law
- Mike Bush was convicted of drink-driving while detective constable in 1983
- In 2017 he apologised for driving over the limit and said he had ‘no excuses’
- Conviction could stop him from becoming Scotland Yard boss
The retired New Zealand police reformer in the running to replace Cressida Dick as Scotland Yard’s new chief has a drink-driving conviction.
Mike Bush, now in his 60s, was off-duty in 1983 when he drank with friends and was then caught driving over the legal limit in Auckland.
The then detective constable pleaded guilty, was fined NZ$250 and was disqualified from driving for six months.
At the time he was able to keep his job, but eight years later the rules were changed to make it more likely officers would be fired in the event of such a transgression.
The conviction sparked controversy in 2017, three years into his term as New Zealand Commissioner of Police.
Mr Bush wrote in a blog at the time: ‘It was extremely poor judgment by me 34 years ago, for which I am sorry. I make no excuses.’
As New Zealand’s most senior officer between 2014 and 2020, Mr Bush carried out sweeping reforms and transformed the force. Under his watch, crime fell by 20% and public satisfaction rose five points to 84%.
However, it is unclear whether the conviction almost 40 years ago could stop him from becoming the head of Britain’s biggest police force.
Mike Bush speaks to media during a press conference at Parliament on April 2, 2020
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick during an inspection of new police recruits during her last Passing Out parade at Hendon, London, ahead of her last day as chief of the Met on April 10. Picture date: Friday April 8, 2022
Matt Jukes – Matt Jukes joined South Yorkshire police in 1995 three years after graduating with a degree in mathematics from Oxford.
He worked as a detective and rose through the ranks to represent UK police forces at G8 meetings and lead on national anti-terror strategy.
Mr Jukes is best known for tackling Rotherham grooming gangs while borough commander in the Yorkshire town from 2006 to 2010. He’s currently serving as an Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations
Sir Mark Rowley – A familiar figure after leading the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism operations for four years.
Although he resigned from the police in 2018, Sir Mark is still only 58 and sources believe he could be tempted back by the biggest job in British policing.
Served as chief constable of Surrey for three years to 2011, when he joined the Met as an assistant commissioner.
Lucy D’Orsi – Previously served as deputy assistant commissioner at the Met before moving to lead the British Transport Police in 2020, where she has impressed colleagues.
Ian Livingstone – The non-nonsense head of Police Scotland for four years who impressed Boris Johnson with his effective policing operation at COP26 in Glasgow.
Shaun Sawyer – The chief constable of Devon and Cornwall Police announced this weekend that he would stand down from his current role. He served in the Met for more than 20 years and is considered highly likely to apply.
Police sources told The Times newspaper that a mistake made in youth might be difficult to forgive when Scotland Yard needs to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to any officer who breaches standards.
Both the Home Office and City Hall have said that Dame Cressida’s replacement would need to bring drastic improvements to the Met.
Mr Bush told The Times that he expected to address the drink-driving conviction with the decision-making panel but declined to comment further. MailOnline has approached City Hall and the Home Office for comment.
Mr Bush is one of six applicants whose credentials will be reviewed over the next two weeks before interviews.
His rivals include Sir Mark Rowley, the former counterterrorism chief who also ran Surrey police, Shaun Sawyer, the chief constable of Devon and Cornwall, and Jon Boutcher, who is leading the inquiry into unsolved murders in Northern Ireland.
Dame Cressida was ousted as Met Police Commissioner in February after confidence in the force collapsed in the wake of a slew of sexism, racism and misconduct scandals.
Last year, relations between the public and police deteriorated further after serving Met cop Wayne Couzens’ brutal abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard during the Covid lockdown.
On her final patrol in Essex, Dame Cressida directly accused the Mayor of London of forcing her out and confirmed the events at City Hall before and after her exit would be fully investigated.
Speaking to journalists in Chingford she discussed the circumstances surrounding her departure and said: ‘The Mayor of London is a democratically elected person. He has a job to do, he has certain responsibilities in relation to the Metropolitan Police Service.
‘He caused me to say that I would step aside, I did not voluntarily resign. What happened in the run-up to that and subsequently in the last few weeks perhaps, I don’t know, will be looked at by Sir Tom Winsor.’
Dame Cressida did not apologise for any of the Met’s failings, adding: ‘We hear the criticism, know not everyone has confidence in us to provide a good service when they need us, and have seen among us those whose horrific actions have let you all, and us, down so terribly.
‘Each one drives us to get better, to root out those who don’t uphold our standards and don’t deserve to wear our uniform. To improve our response so all our communities feel protected by us’.
Touching on the Met’s culture and claims of sexism and racism, she said: ‘The Met is far more diverse and inclusive than it has ever been. It is a wonderful place to work and we need women and men of all backgrounds to join us and continue to make a difference’.
Dame Cressida previously apologised publicly following the conclusions into the cases involving Ms Henry, Ms Smallman and Ms Everard, said she was ‘seething angry’ about the racist, sexist and homophobic messages from officers at Charing Cross station and defended how the force dealt with partygate.
Two inquiries are currently under way looking at the culture within the Met.
Officers and staff saying goodbye to Commissioner Cressida Dick at New Scotland Yard
Sir Mark Rowley is a familiar figure after leading the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism operations for four years, while Lucy D’Orsi has been praised for her work at the British Transport Police
Dame Cressida said the culture in the force ‘has been changing’ following the death of Ms Everard and the publication of the WhatsApp messages.
She added: ‘I believe during my commissionership you have seen a real opening up of the Met. We are much more transparent, we are much closer to our public, and we have been seeking to root out the people who have let London down or may let London down, those people who can’t live up to the professional standards that London would expect of its police service.
‘We’ve had some horrible things done in the last year by people who were wearing and shaming the uniform of the Metropolitan Police. (It was an) awful, awful event with Sarah Everard being killed, a terrible thing, unimaginably bad for everyone. Since then, some other things have shocked the Me. But we haven’t stood by – we were already changing very fast.’
She then listed work being undertaken by the force to improve it, such as investing in professionalism, updating its unit which deals with officers who commit domestic abuse and sexual offences and involving the public to ‘help improve its professionalism’.
Shooting of unarmed Brazilian, Sarah Everard’s murder, XR protests, Operation Midland and a culture of racism, sexism and bullying: The charge sheet of failure and incompetence that finally saw Teflon Dame Cressida Dick come unstuck
In the end, it is a wonder she survived in the job so long.
Only last year, her force was officially branded ‘institutionally corrupt’. Incredibly, despite such a devastating finding, she did not resign.
Instead ‘Teflon’ Dame Cressida Dick has made a habit of trotting out humiliating apologies, for both recent and historical blunders, including admitting that the Sarah Everard debacle had brought ‘shame’ on the Metropolitan Police.
The daughter of two Oxford academics, Dame Cressida, 61, joined the Metropolitan Police in 1983 after graduating from Oxford University with a degree in agriculture and forest sciences. Apart from a six-year spell at Thames Valley Police, she has spent her entire policing career at Scotland Yard.
Her first arrest, which came in her very first beat patrol in London’s Soho in 1983, was of a man using a screwdriver to jemmy open the coin box in a telephone kiosk.
Later, at Bramshill Police College in 1995, she was the only woman out of ten officers chosen for fast-track promotion training, but she has been determined that her sex would not define her.
Dame Cressida Dick’s shock resignation marks the end of a controversial chapter in the history of the Metropolitan Police
Sir Steve House: Who is the Met’s new top cop?
Dame Cressida Dick will be succeeded as interim by Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House, who is expected to take over the Partygate probe into events in Westminster during lockdown.
Sir Stephen, Police Scotland’s former Chief Constable, had his own career mired in controversy after it was claimed he was effectively kicked out of the force after a botched investigation into a car crash saw a woman left inside her vehicle for three days before being found alive.
Sir Stephen House
Lamara Bell and John Yuill lay in their car for three days despite a member of the public calling Police Scotland’s non-emergency line to report a damaged vehicle. Miss Bell was still alive when emergency services finally arrived, but later died in hospital.
Police Scotland was eventually fined £100,000 for health and safety failures over the fatal crash last September.
He stood down and retired in 2015 following the incident, but it was later claimed he was effectively sacked by Nicola Sturgeon over the incident, her former aide Noel Dolan wrote in a bombshell book last year.
Sir Stephen has also faced criticism from Lib Dem MP and former police officer Wendy Chamberlain, who told the Evening Standard he was a ‘completely unsuitable’ candidate to lead the Met.
‘After so many scandals, the Met desperately needs strong new leadership to rebuild public trust.
‘Putting it in the hands of someone who left his own trail of scandals in Police Scotland is not the way to do that.’
The police chief was one of the first female undergraduates at Oxford’s Balliol College in 1979. She always played cricket, football and rowed with ‘the boys’, saying it never bothered her. Later on, Dame Cressida was given time out to study for a qualification in criminology at Cambridge.
At the Metropolitan Police, she was given responsibility for Operation Trident – which investigated gun and gang crimes – counterterrorism, the 2012 London Olympics, and ended up as the country’s principal hostage negotiator.
But since rising from an impressive rookie cop in the 1980s to the very top of British policing at the country’s largest force, Dame Cressida has been embroiled in at least seven career-defining disasters.
The wonder is that the first of them didn’t spell the end.
Tube death blunder
In July 2005, Dame Cressida was in charge of the operation which saw blameless electrician Jean Charles de Menezes shot dead on a Tube train at Stockwell station in south London after he was mistaken for a terrorist who was under surveillance.
It almost finished her career, and she says she thinks about it ‘very often’.
The armed officers believed him to be a fugitive suicide bomber who had escaped after failed attacks in London two weeks after the carnage of the 7/7 bombings.
Dame Cressida was the ‘gold commander’ on the botched operation, and immediate lethal force – a shot to the head – was supposedly required because any other action risked setting off the suicide jacket.
No officer, including Dame Cressida, faced any charges, and no one was reprimanded.
The Met was found guilty of breaching health and safety laws and putting the public at risk, and was fined £175,000 and ordered to pay £385,000 costs from taxpayer funds. The Met chief was personally exonerated, but the shame of it lingered.
In 2014, Dame Cressida sanctioned the creation of Operation Midland, a disastrous investigation into spurious VIP child sex abuse allegations that saw completely innocent men pursued by the force.
Five years later, when the embarrassing operation began seriously unravelling, she refused to allow an inquiry into the conduct of officers involved.
This was despite former High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques revealing how officers had used false evidence to obtain a search warrant for the raids. Dame Cressida said that an inquiry would be ‘completely improper’.
Dame Cressida was also slammed by the families of victims of VIP paedophile ring fantasist Carl Beech, whose spurious allegations were investigated by police – ruining the lives and reputations of those he accused
While some of her calamities pre-dated her stint as Commissioner, this one sat squarely within her reign. A report in 2020 found the Metropolitan Police was more interested in covering up mistakes than learning from them.
The Hampshire home of the Queen’s confidant, Lord Bramall – who was also former head of the Armed Forces – had been invaded by police with search warrants in the early hours on the basis of spurious allegations of abuse by paedophile Carl Beech, a palpable fantasist.
After the Daily Mail exposed him, Beech was jailed. Before he died, D-Day hero Lord Bramall told his son Nick that ‘he had never been so mortally wounded, even in battle’.
Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, who received a substantial payout after his life was ruined by the disastrous paedophile inquiry, last night expressed his delight at Dame Cressida’s downfall.
He was among seven high-profile victims of the Met – including Baroness Lawrence, whose son Stephen’s 1993 murder investigation was botched by racist officers – who last year came together in a Mail interview to accuse Dame Cressida of having ‘presided over a culture of incompetence’.
In 2019, Dame Cressida’s force was widely condemned for its ‘light-touch’ policing of Extinction Rebellion protests, which blocked several key areas of London.
Under her watch, career eco-activists from XR and its off-shoot Insulate Britain were given free rein to cause mayhem.
Ambulances were stopped from getting through, while businesses and workers were forced to halt their activities.
A low point came when police were filmed asking road-blocking protesters if they needed anything – rather than just arresting them.
In 2019, Dame Cressida’s force was widely condemned for its ‘light-touch’ policing of Extinction Rebellion protests, which blocked several key areas of London
Perhaps the most jaw-dropping condemnation of Dame Cressida came in June of last year when an official report described her force as ‘institutionally corrupt’.
And far from blaming the fiasco on a predecessor, it concluded that she had personally placed ‘hurdles’ in the way of a search for the truth about the death of Daniel Morgan – a private investigator who was brutally murdered in a south London pub car park in 1987.
Daniel Morgan was investigating claims of corruption within the Metropolitan Police when he was murdered in 1987 – and the force failed him and his family ever since. His brother Alastair told the media that Cressida Dick should resign
Dame Cressida was accused of ‘obfuscation’ for thwarting the Morgan inquiry team’s attempts to access sensitive documents, leading to delays that cost the taxpayer millions. The report by Baroness O’Loan found that Scotland Yard was ‘institutionally corrupt’.
The Met has never found Mr Morgan’s murderer, but there were long-standing allegations of police corruption over the killing and the aftermath.
Mr Morgan’s brother Alastair also joined Baroness Lawrence, Harvey Proctor and Lord Bramall in a devastating and unprecedented joint interview with the Daily Mail.
They all signed a letter to the PM demanding Dame Cressida’s resignation. Instead she clung on.
The brutally horrific murder of Sarah Everard in March last year by serving Met firearms officer Wayne Couzens went from disastrous to worse for Dame Cressida. She faced a clamour to quit after he was exposed as the killer.
It then emerged Couzens had not been vetted properly and Met officers had failed to investigate after he was reported flashing women days before the murder.
But perhaps the worst moment for the Commissioner was her officers’ heavy-handed policing of a vigil for the murdered woman at Clapham Common in South London.
The news comes a week after Mr Khan said he was ‘not satisfied’ with the Met’s Commissioner’s response to calls for change following a series of scandals including the murder of Sarah Everard by serving officer Wayne Couzens
The Metropolitan Police commissioner faced calls for her resignation earlier this year after women were arrested at a vigil that was held in memory of Miss Everard
Photographs of protesting women being pinned down by arresting officers who cited Covid restrictions on gatherings were published around the world, sparking condemnation.
When Couzens was convicted, it was dubbed Scotland Yard’s ‘darkest day’. Dame Cressida stood outside the Old Bailey and humbly admitted the murder had corroded trust in the police and brought ‘shame’ on her force.
In December last year, two Scotland Yard officers who took photos of the bodies of two murder victims were jailed.
The sisters who died – Nicole Smallman, 27, and 46-year-old Bibaa Henry, were black and there were accusations of racism. 2021 was also the force’s worst ever year for teenage killings, with 30 deaths.
Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, who were stabbed to death in Wembley last year
Further mock-ups of messages sent by a male officer during another shocking conversation on WhatsApp
Earlier this month, details emerged of horrific messages exchanged by officers at Charing Cross police station, by an official watchdog report.
Some 14 officers were investigated as a result, with two found to have a case to answer for gross misconduct.
One was sacked and another resigned before he would have been dismissed. Another two had already left, while in some of the other cases the Independent Office of Police Conduct found ‘no further action should be taken’.
Incredibly, nine officers kept their jobs and two were promoted – but their sickening WhatsApp messages exposed an ongoing culture of racism, sexism and bullying.
It appears this sickening episode was the straw which finally broke the back. For, by the end, it was clear that confidence in the police chief had gone.
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