Nation special report
LONDON: Neil Basu has been appointed as the new Assistant Commissioner responsible for leading counter terrorism policing nationally. He will take over from AC Mark Rowley as head of the Met’s Specialist Operations when AC Rowley on 21 March. Currently Mr Basu is the Senior National Coordinator for counterterrorism policing and AC Rowley’s deputy, a position he has held since October 2016.
Commenting on Neil Basu’s appointment, Commissioner Cressida Dick said: “I am delighted that Neil is joining our senior team. He takes on a job of enormous importance and responsibility leading counter terrorism policing nationally and in London and is a worthy successor to Mark Rowley. Neil has the skills, experience and character we need. He has already undertaken some of the toughest jobs in policing, not least in the last year as senior national coordinator countering terrorism and has proven how good his judgment and resilience is. He is a leader of courage, compassion and integrity and I know he will do a great job.” Neil 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. 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.” Mr Basu was promoted to Deputy Assistant Commissioner in 2015 and at that time was posted to lead on protection and security, including Royalty and Specialist Protection, Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Aviation Policing and Protective Security Operations. He took up his current role as Senior National Coordinator for counter terrorism on 17 October 2016, responsible for delivering the police response to pursuing terrorists and the Prevent strategy. Prior to that, he has worked as a detective in all ranks to detective superintendent in a range of areas including anti-corruption and homicide for Trident within the Serious and Organised Crime Command.
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 A recruitment campaign will be launched later this month to fill Mr Basu’s current role as Senior National Coordinator. In the interim, Commander Dean Haydon, who is the head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) will undertake this role as temporary Deputy Assistant Commissioner and Senior National Coordinator. Clarke Jarrett will temporarily take on the role of Commander for SO15.
Mark Rowley Meanwhile, Met Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley criticised tech giants for failing to provide police with a single tip-off about dangerous extremists operating online. He called the “very wealthy corporations” the online equivalent of landlords of extremist “tenants” who had “encouraged, directed, enabled and promoted terrorist attacks with the click of a mouse or tap of a screen”. He said that “in the real world” conventional landlords would be expected to alert the authorities and evict those planning or inspiring attacks. He was “disappointed” that police were not receiving such proactive help from online firms as he warned that extremism was now as great a threat to security as terrorism. Mr Rowley’s comments, in a speech to a World Counter Terror Congress in London today, follow heavy criticism by MPs of tech firms including Face book, Google and Twitter for failing to do enough to rid their sites of inflammatory and hate-filled content. The firms have insisted they are trying to address the problem. But Mr Rowley said that while t h e tech giants did respond to police requests to remove extremist material they were not doing enough of their own volition. Mr Rowley, who disclosed police and MI5 currently, had 600 live counter-terrorism investigations, also called for other businesses to help in the terror fight by looking out for signs of radicalisation among their staff and encouraging employees to be vigilant about potential threats.