London: 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 caught and shot dead the terror convict Usman Khan, according to the Guardian newspaper.
In the past, Basu has spoken out about the racial discrimination 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 recognize and celebrate black achievement or understand racism”, the Evening Standard newspaper reported.
The London police commissioner is chosen by consensus by the Home Secretary and the London Mayor.