The new Assistant Commissioner for Counter-Terrorism is Neil Basu, who takes over from Mark Rowley after 31 years of his policing time. His appointment marks a change of approach to counter-terrorism. Mr. Basu launches a second ACT-action campaign to ask the public to become ‘Counter-Terrorist Citizens’.
Neil Basu who is the new Assistant for the Counter-terrorism in Britain is the first officer of an Asian heritage to be appointed to the role. The new key senior role will be seen by some as a positive step. Basu 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”. Neil Basu is relaunching a second phase of the ACT-Action Counter Terrorism campaign, which is featuring a new 60-second film based on the real-life foiled plots which will show examples of terrorist suspicious activity and behaviours as well as an attack planning methodology. His aim is to educate the public and authorities about terrorist attack planning and reinforce the message that anything small could help with further problems along the way.
Commenting on Neil Basu’s appointment, Commissioner Cressida Dick said “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 a senior national coordinator countering terrorism and has proven how good his judgment and resilience is”.
Neil Basu has called on members of the public to become “counter-terrorist Citizens” by passing on information that could help prevent attacks. On his speech almost a year after the Manchester attack, Neil Basu had said how more than fifth of the 31,000 reports received last year had resulted in useful intelligence. However, critics had argued that the call for the public was “paving the way to the work kinds of profiling, vigilantism and paranoia” amid and debate around the Government counter-extremism Prevent programme. However, Mr. Basu had argued and said that all reports were assessed by specialist officers to decide what is valuable and that they are “not going to overreact to a single piece of intelligence”. Many people in the public feel under-pressured in to feel as if they don’t exactly know what terrorism is anymore, because of now even just saying something in an innocent way could be sent as suspicious behaviour. Research suggests that while more than 80 percent of people are helping to report suspicious behaviour, many are unclear exactly what they should be looking for. Mr. Basu said, “I think people have good instincts about what feels odd in their workplace, in their community and even in their family”.
Mark Rowley who now retires had various approaches working in his time to prevent terrorism in Britain. Since the time AC Rowley had been at the forefront of driving forward the UK policing efforts to counter and mitigate the threat from Daesh as well as from other terrorist groups and violent extremist’s threats. He also worked with the MI5 and other intelligence agencies to successfully stop 23 attacks since the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich in 2013-Including 10 since March 2017. This change has enabled CT officers to double the number of arrests made as they work to counter the terrorist threat in the last year there have been 460 arrests.
When Mark Rowley announced his retirement from police he said “I am as proud of the police service today as I was starting on the beat in Birmingham in 1987. Every day I continue to witness the selfless, unwavering commitment of all involved in protecting and serving the public”. Mr. Rowley was praised by the MPS commissioner Cressida Dick for the contributions made across the policing of London and in the UK. The commissioner had said “Mark will be a huge loss to police. He has dedicated himself protecting and serving the public and should be immensely proud of everything he has achieved”. Announcing his retirement, Mark Rowley was praised highly for the work he had achieved in helping Britain prevent terrorism across the county.
Although Mark Rowley had contributed many key factors for the counterterrorism In Britain, there was criticism in that he had been attacking the Muslim community organisations such as Mend. He had ignored the fact that Mend and Cage have genuine roots in Britain’s Muslim communities while claiming that they contribute to a climate of alienation that breeds terrorists by speaking “in such a way to create and exploit grievances and isolation”. And, Rowley had praised Amanda Spielman the head of the school’s watchdog Ofsted whose intervention into a debate over hijabs in East London earlier this year which was described as “half-witted”. Despite the Muslim Communities hitting back at Mark Rowley it seems that there were more positive aspects on his achievements than negative as the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan had praised him as a “thoughtful, innovative and skilful Mr. Rowley for leading Britain through a year of five attacks as terror arrests hit a record high”.