Neil Basu, son of a Bengali doctor who moved to London in 1961, could become the next Chief of the Scotland Yard.
Anil Kanti ‘Neil’ Basu, an Indian-origin British counter-terror cop, the most senior police officer of Asian heritage, is widely believed to be in a short-list of candidates who could become the next London Metropolitan Police Commissioner or chief of the Scotland Yard.
He is a strong contender for the role, according to British media reports, and would become the force’s first non-white commissioner. Basu is highly respected across the department but has a troublesome relationship with UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel. Sources at the Home Office are of the opinion that Basu would never become commissioner “as long as Priti is home secretary”. He is also known to have criticised Prime Minister Boris Johnson over racist language.
Fifty-three-year-old Mr Basu is vastly experienced at various senior roles including commander for territorial policing at the Met. He is currently the Assistant Commissioner (Specialist Operations) of the London Metropolitan Police.
His father, Pankaj Kumar Basu, was a surgeon from Kolkata, who had relocated to the UK in 1961 and worked with the UK police for 40 years. Neil’s mother was a nurse of Welsh heritage. After completing his graduation in Economics from Nottingham University, Neil joined the Met Police in 1992. He was consequently promoted as head of counterterrorism and Specialist Operations.
A fierce police officer, Basu has an impressive portfolio to his credit. He has worked as a detective in a wide range of areas from anti-corruption to homicide. He is highly regarded by the MI5, the UK’s domestic security service.
Mr Basu’s counter terror operation came to the fore during the London Bridge incident where two people were stabbed to death in a terror attack. The terrorist involved was apprehended and shot dead.
“Police officers up and down the country go to work each day because they want to keep the public safe. They often put themselves in danger to protect the public from those looking to do them harm. On the day of this attack, officers from the Metropolitan Police, the City of London Police and the British Transport Police did just that, and so much more,” he said in a statement at the conclusion of the inquest into the death of the terrorist, Usman Khan.
Neil Basu is likely to succeed Dame Cressida Dick, the first woman to occupy the position in 2017, who resigned on Thursday, after London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared he was “not satisfied” with her response to the scale of change required to “root out” racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying and misogyny in the Met.
Last week, the police watchdog found “disgraceful” misogyny, discrimination and sex harassment among some Met PCs.
According to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) report, most officers investigated were police constables and based at Charing Cross Police Station, who were found to have joked about rape and exchanged offensive social media messages. The inquiry was launched in March 2018.
Cressida Dick also faced criticism over the Sarah Everard case. Ms Everard was murdered by a serving Met Police officer, Wayne Couzens, in March last year.