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Institute of Criminology


Neil Basu is Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations (ACSO) in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the senior officer in charge of Counter Terrorism (CT) policing in the UK; a position he has held since March 2018. Prior to this he was the UK Senior National Co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism and led the policing contribution to the Government’s CONTEST strategy for Pursue and Prevent. Whilst in this role he led the national policing response to the five terrorist attacks and the fourteen disrupted attack plots in 2017. Neil has been at the forefront of Counter Terrorism policing for over 6 years during an unprecedented shift in threat, and has been instrumental in strengthening police capability, increasing join-up with community policing, closer working with intelligence partners and an increase in preventative interventions to counter radicalisation. During his 6 years in CT his teams in partnership with MI5, have disrupted 29 plots and responded to 12 attacks.

As ACSO, he represents CT Policing in its engagement with Government on operational and policy issues associated with tackling terrorism and Counter States Threats. His portfolio also includes responsibility for the investigation of War Crime, Official Secrets Act offences and protection of VIPs, Royals, Embassies and Parliament.

Further Information:

Neil joined the MPS in 1992 having completed a BA (Hons) degree in Economics at Nottingham University, and three years working in the private sector (Banking and Sales Management).  

A career detective, he served in every rank from TDC to Detective Inspector in Front Line Policing, at Battersea, Brixton, Streatham & Merton; before embarking on a specialist detective career from DI to Detective Superintendent in Anti-Corruption 2000-2002; DCI Trident Homicide 2003-2006; (where he dealt with 17 Cat A murders and gained Trident’s first 40 year sentence without parole). In 2006 he was the lead for Turkish, Vietnamese and Chinese Organised Crime and performed the role of Kidnap and Extortion Commander. From 2008-2009 he was staff officer to Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson, and in then promoted to Chief Superintendent and Borough Commander of Barnet. In 2012 he graduated first in class from the Bramshill Strategic Command Course and has held a variety of Chief Officer roles including Commander South East London; Commander Armed Policing; Commander  Operations Weeting/Elveden and Tuleta; (the post Leveson enquiries into media and public sector corruption), and Commander Gangs and Organised Crime. He was the national lead for Less Lethal Weapons from 2013-2016 and introduced the Taser X2 to British Policing.

In 2015 Neil was promoted to Deputy Assistant Commissioner Specialist Operations, beginning his CT career as the London lead for Protection and Security. This included command of Royalty and Specialist Protection, Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection, Aviation Policing and Protective Security Operations. In 2016 as the senior CT officer in charge of Prevent & Pursue, he led the investigative response to the 5 2017 UK terrorist attacks and 14 foiled plots. In March 2018, he was appointed ACSO and led the UK police investigation into the Salisbury poisonings, culminating in international arrest warrants being issued for two Russian agents and proving a Russian state attack on UK soil. Neil has been commended 10 times during his career for bravery, leadership and detective ability and awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) for distinguished service in 2016. In 2021 Neil is the Director of the Strategic Command Course – policing’s most senior leadership course. Neil enjoys spending time with his wife and sons, film, sport, music and motorcycling.

Neil Basu