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Neil Basu, son of immigrant Bengali surgeon, in race to become London police commissioner

He is likely to replace Dame Cressida Dick, the first woman to lead the biggest UK police force, who resigned this week

PTI | Published 12.02.22, 12:18 PM
Neil Basu

Neil Basu

From Metropolitan Police's Twitter account, @metpoliceuk

Anil Kanti ‘Neil' Basu, an Indian-origin British counter-terror cop, the most senior police officer of Asian heritage, is among the frontrunners to become the next London Metropolitan police commissioner, according to British media reports.

He is likely to replace Dame Cressida Dick, the first woman to lead the biggest UK police force, who resigned earlier this week after a series of damning reports of bullying, misogyny and racism emerged in the force under her helm.  

Basu, 53, is currently the assistant commissioner (specialist operations) of the London Metropolitan Police.

His father was a surgeon, who hailed from Kolkata, and relocated to the UK in the 1960s, where he married his mother, a nurse of Welsh heritage. 

An economics graduate from Nottingham University, Basu had joined the Met Police in 1992 and was elevated as head of counter-terrorism and specialist operations, before becoming director of the College of Policing. 

A widely respected figure in the police force, Basu rose to worldwide fame during the London Bridge incident two years ago, when he and his team nabbed and shot dead the terror convict Usman Khan, according to the Guardian newspaper.  

In the past, Basu has spoken out on the racial discrimination the he suffered during childhood.  

In a blog in October 2020, he said that he did not like the term “Black History Month” because “I don't like the fact that we need a special month to recognise and celebrate black achievement or understand racism”, the Evening Standard newspaper reported.  

According to media reports, others in the fray include Martin Hewitt, Chair of the National Police Chiefs Council, Simon Byrne, Chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Mark Rowley, former head of counter terrorism, Matt Jukes, another assistant commissioner in the Met and currently acting head of the counter-terrorism, Louise Rolfe, a leader and specialist on tackling violence against women and Andy Cooke, a former chief of Merseyside police and now with the policing inspectorate.  

The London police commissioner is chosen by consensus by the home secretary and the London mayor.

Last updated on 12.02.22, 07:46 PM
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