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Hogan-Howe named new London police chief
LONDON (Reuters) - The government named Bernard Hogan-Howe as the new commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police on Monday, giving him the job a year before the capital hosts the Olympic Games and a month after the worst riots in the city in years.
The 53-year-old, who has a tough, no-nonsense reputation, replaces Paul Stephenson who resigned in July over the phone-hacking scandal that has embroiled the British newspaper arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp media empire.
Hogan-Howe, who is now effectively Britain's most senior police officer as head of the country's largest force, had been installed as the acting deputy commissioner following Stephenson's resignation.
"It is my intention to build on public trust and lead a service that criminals will fear and staff will be proud to work for," he told reporters.
Hogan-Howe made his name as chief constable of Merseyside Police in northern England from 2004 to 2009 where he promoted a tough stance against gangs and gun crime, with crime falling by a third and a 26 percent reduction in anti-social behaviour.
He was chosen for the 250,000 pound a year job ahead of the current acting chief, Tim Godwin, and two other top officers.
As commissioner, he will oversee a force of more than 31,000 officers, 90 horses and 170 dogs along with almost 8,000 community and volunteer officers.
The Met has national responsibility for counter-terrorism and policing some 7.2 million Londoners. It is also responsible for protecting next year's London Olympics which is expected to be Britain's biggest peacetime security operation.
The high-profile post has become something of a poisoned chalice, and Stephenson had only been in the job since January 2009 after his predecessor was forced out by London's Mayor Boris Johnson after months of media pressure.
Last year, the force was criticised for its handling of protests by students, while it was convicted in 2007 of breaking health and safety laws after armed officers shot dead an innocent Brazilian electrician mistaken as a suicide bomber.
Senior officers have been accused of failing to properly probe the phone-hacking allegations, while detectives are also looking at claims some officers took bribes from journalists.
Last month, the Met came under fire over the worst rioting seen in the capital for decades with Prime Minister David Cameron saying the police had been too slow to react.
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