Two senior Met officers have been nominated for accolades at this year’s Asian Achievers Awards.
Assistant Commissioner, Specialist Operations, Neil Basu, and Chief Superintendent Raj Kohli have each been nominated in the Achievement in Uniformed and Civil Service category at the 18th annual awards, which recognise the outstanding contribution of Asians to British culture.
They are amongst 32 finalists nominated for awards, after more than 6,000 entries were submitted across eight award categories.
The awards ceremony is being held on the evening of Friday, 14 September at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane.
AC Basu has worked as a detective in all ranks at the Met, up to Detective Superintendent, and 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.
AC Basu was promoted to Deputy Assistant Commissioner in 2015 leading on protection and security, including Royalty and Specialist Protection, Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Aviation Policing, and Protective Security Operations.
He took up the role of Senior National Coordinator for counter terrorism in October 2016, and was responsible for delivering the police response to pursuing terrorists, and the Prevent strategy.
He became Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations in March this year.
AC Basu said of his nomination: “I feel privileged to have been nominated for an Asian Achievers Award, particularly in such great company as Raj Kohli.
“I joined the police service because, like my mother who was a nurse and my father who was a doctor, I wanted to give back to the community. Having now occupied every role from local police constable to national lead for counter terrorism, I can say with confidence that being a police officer is a vocation; an incredibly rewarding job and one of the finest careers for making a positive contribution to society.
“Helping vulnerable people often at the worst time of their lives when no-one else can help is a calling that is difficult to put into words. I think Ghandi did it best when he said ‘there is no higher calling than to lose yourself in the service of others.’ That’s what it means to me to be a police officer.
“It is also crucial that police forces are genuinely representative of the communities they serve if they are to win the trust and confidence of all society – the fundamental reason why we can police by consent in this country. I am proud that, as the son of an Indian immigrant, I have been able to spend 26 years representing black and minority ethnic officers within the Metropolitan Police Service – especially when that demographic is now over 40 per cent of the London population.
“I joined the Met at time when only two percent of officers were BAME. Much has been done to address this disproportionality but we have much, much more to do. We are now almost 14% BAME, but to be fully representative of the greatest and most diverse city on the planet; to better engage with all communities; to win that trust and confidence that is the bedrock of UK policing, we must attract more BAME officers.
“The Met Police is recruiting police officers right now and I encourage anyone of Asian or other minority ethnicity, who has drive and a passion to make a real difference to the lives of others, to sign up. Twenty-six years ago I did exactly that and I haven’t looked back - after all you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If I had to do it all again tomorrow I would do it in a heartbeat. I hope that Raj and I as policing nominees for the Met, can both set an example that others will follow.”
Chief Superintendent Kohli joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1992. In 1999, he was promoted to Inspector and in 2001, he moved to the Borough of Brent as the Detective Inspector in charge of proactive operations.
Raj was promoted to Chief Inspector and was made the operational lead for the policing of South Brent. He was then Superintendent in Camden borough, where he oversaw significant reduction in gang and youth crime and violence. In 2012, Raj played a key role in helping deliver the London Olympics, being in charge of policing all parallel events across the 16 boroughs south of the River Thames.
As borough Commander for Hounslow, he oversaw a fall in crime with a reduction in burglaries and robberies. Since 2015, Hounslow has been a ‘White Ribbon’ town and one of the leading local authorities in the fight to end violence against women and girls.
Chief Superintendent Kohli said: “I am delighted to have been nominated for an Asian Achievers Award.
“I feel incredibly lucky to have spent the past 26 years of my life working with some fantastic people, to help some remarkable communities.
“My role as borough commander for Hounslow has been one of my most fulfilling in all my service – the community has been fantastic and deserves a borough that reflects their hopes and aspirations.
“In my time with the borough we have seen some excellent work in reducing the significant drug dealing and ASB issues on the High Street, culminating in 26 arrests at the beginning of the year. We have also been one of the first boroughs in London to move to the ‘BCU’ model and our merging of police operations with Ealing and Hillingdon has now taken place and, although not without some challenges, has been relatively seamless.
“It was a moment of great pride for me when Hounslow was formally announced a White Ribbon Town three years ago, following my teams’ work in tackling violence against women and girls. Working closely with council colleagues we have been able to really support female victims of violence and the award is recognition of some amazing work by the MPS and London Borough of Hounslow.
“I have been able to achieve what I have only because of the incredible support from my family, friends, colleagues and communities.
“There are many people out there who have what it takes to be a police officer and make a very real and significant difference to the lives of people in London. In particular, the Met needs more black and minority ethnicity officers in order to be truly representative of the communities it serves. So I would urge anyone who wants to make a difference to consider joining myself and my colleagues as police officers or police staff.
“It’s been an absolute honour to serve the people of London and I cannot recommend enough the challenging and fulfilling career that is policing.”
For more information on the Asian Achievers Awards, visit the website: https://www.abplgroup.com/Events/Asian-Achievers-Awards/The-Awards, or follow on Twitter via @ABPL_GROUP
The Met is recruiting police officers now. It is not an easy job but it is rewarding, packed with new and interesting experiences every day. Anyone who thinks they could play a part in making London a safer place and is interested in starting a career in policing, go to https://www.met.police.uk/car/careers/met/police-officer-roles/