Senior Indian-origin Scotland Yard officer Neil Basu has been appointed as the counter-terrorism chief. He will succeed Mark Rowley, who retires this month, as assistant commissioner responsible for leading counter-terrorism policing nationally. Importantly, Basu is the first officer of Asian heritage to be appointed to the role.
The Indian-origin UK officer is a former Met commander overseeing organised crime and gangs. He has specialised in counter-terrorism policing for the past three years and was in effect Rowley’s deputy.
He 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 took up his current role as senior national coordinator for counter-terrorism in October 2016, in which he was responsible for delivering the police response to pursuing terrorists and the Prevent strategy. Importantly, the 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.
On his appointment, Basu 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”.