Indian-Origin Officer appointed Scotland Yard’s Counter-Terror Chief

Pakistan-origin London Mayor welcomes the appointment of Neil Basu

LONDON: A senior Indian-origin Scotland Yard officer Neil Basu has been appointed as the counter-terrorism chief by UK Metropolitan Police Department.

According to an official statement Mr Basu, currently the Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner, will be promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations.

He will take charge as the force’s National Lead for Counter Terrorism (CT) and the Head of the Met Police‘s Specialist Operations following the resignation of incumbent Mark Rowley on March 21.

It is important to note that London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, who is of Pakistani-origin British has warmly welcomed the move.

Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick has also welcomed the appointment and added: “I am delighted Neil is joining our senior team…He is a worthy successor to Mark Rowley” (outgoing official).

Mr Basu, whose father is of Indian origin, said “It is a privilege to be asked to join the management board of the Met and to lead for CT policing at such a point in our history. It is both a challenge and a duty that I accept with humility and a sense of great purpose.”

In a statement issued following the decision, Mr. Basu said “I will lead to the best of my ability, the most extraordinary people I have ever worked with as they work night and day to counter terrorism.”

According to UK’s Evening Standard newspaper report Mr Basu takes up the role at a time of a heightened terror alert following five terrorist attacks in the UK last year and the threat of Islamic State fighters returning from the battlefront.

He was quoted by the Evening Standard as saying “It is a privilege to lead for counter-terror policing at such a point in our history.

Basu joined the Met in 1992 and has risen through the ranks, including working in the force’s anti-corruption department and as a senior homicide detective for the Trident gangs unit. He was also in charge of the Met’s phone hacking inquiry.

He was made senior national coordinator for counter-terror policing in 2016 and led the Met’s response following a number of the terror attacks last year.

Basu has also criticised social media companies for taking too long to remove illegal material such as Islamic State propaganda from their websites, and spoke of how “segregated, isolated communities” and illegal home schooling can act as breeding grounds for terrorists.

According to a report in daily Guardian on March 5, 2018, Mr. Basu has worked as a detective in all ranks to detective superintendent in a range of areas including anti-corruption and homicide for the anti-gangs unit Trident. He has also held the posts of area commander for south-east London and head of armed policing within the Met. He will take over as assistant commissioner for specialist operations on 21 March.

The Guardian report added that “Met has come under fire for its lack of diversity across ranks so Basu’s appointment to a key senior role will be seen by some as a positive step.”


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