SHE cut her teeth in policing as the city’s chief officer and now 20 years on, Oxford’s own Cressida Dick will stamp her authority as the country’s top cop.

Announced as the new Commissioner for London’s Metropolitan Police this week, the former Dragon School, Oxford High School and Balliol College student said becoming Britain’s most senior police officer was 'beyond her wildest dreams'.

Ms Dick, who was the area commander for Oxford for three years in the late 1990s, was born and bred in the city by two university academics.

Pictured by the Oxford Mail in May 1997, the then Superintendent of Thames Valley Police, was praised for her fresh and innovative thinking about crime fighting.

Oxford City Councillor John Tanner, who was the authority leader in 1998 during Ms Dick’s tenure, said the new Met chief was an ‘outstanding’ officer, who ‘did a lot to improve’ communities in the city.

He added: “It’s a feather in the Oxford cap that Cressida Dick has reached those dizzy heights. I hope she does a good a job for London as she did for Oxford.”

Director of communications at Oxford High Maria Gara said the school was ‘immensely proud’ of Ms Dick. She added: “She came back to Oxford High recently for an alumnae reunion and it was an honour to meet her. She is a fantastic role model for our students. Firstly, she is a woman in the most senior leadership role in what is still a largely male-dominated workplace and secondly, she has demonstrated such resilience and grit in the face of challenging professional circumstances.

“We will continue to celebrate her achievements and follow her career as she takes on this prestigious new role.”

Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Francis Habgood, who has received training from Ms Dick, said he was ‘very grateful to her’.

The 56-year-old will succeed Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe as the first woman to take charge of Britain's largest force in its 188-year history. She will be in charge of more than 43,000 officers and staff, as well as a £3billion budget.

Ms Dick said she ‘could not be more pleased’.

She added: “It is beyond my wildest dreams, an extraordinary privilege. I am very humbled.”