ESSEX'S top cop has been unsuccessful in a bid to become the head of the Metropolitan police.

Chief constable of Essex Police, Steven Kavanagh, applied to take on the Metropolitan Police commissioner job which is the most senior post in British policing. 

He was one four senior figures seen as being in the running to succeed Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe as head of Scotland Yard, including Cressida Dick, Sara Thornton, Mark Rowley and Stephen Kavanagh.

But today Cressida Dick has been named as the new head of Scotland Yard, becoming the first woman to hold the post.

Ms Dick came under intense scrutiny in 2005 when she was in charge of the operation that led to the fatal shooting of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, who was wrongly identified as a potential suicide bomber.

A jury cleared Ms Dick of any blame in his death.

Ms Dick's appointment means that all three top policing jobs in the UK are now held by women - the commissioner, head of the NPCC and National Crime Agency chief Lynne Owens.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "Cressida Dick is an exceptional leader, and has a clear vision for the future of the Metropolitan Police and an understanding of the diverse range of communities it serves.

"She now takes on one of the most demanding, high-profile and important jobs in UK policing, against the backdrop of a heightened terror alert and evolving threats from fraud and cyber crime.

"The challenges ahead include protecting the most vulnerable, including victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

"Cressida's skills and insight will ensure the Metropolitan Police adapt to the changing patterns of crime in the 21st century and continue to keep communities safe across London and the UK.

"Cressida is absolutely the right choice to lead the Metropolitan Police as this Government continues its work to reform the police, and I look forward to working with her to make a real difference to policing in the capital."

Six applicants applied for the £270,000-a-year post, with four shortlisted and invited for final interviews before the appointment was made by the Queen following a recommendation from Ms Rudd.