Learning from the past and bringing those lessons to bear against new threats, is at the heart of the UK Counter Terrorism mission. The past 7 years have seen perhaps the fastest-paced evolution and diversification of threats in living memory, from the emergence of ISIS and their sophisticated media strategy to exploit vulnerable targets, to the rise of right-wing and single issue terrorism and hostile state activity resulting in the first use of a nerve agent on European soil since WW2. Since 2014, AC Basu has been at the heart of senior decision making and strategy setting and is uniquely placed to explain where the Counter Terrorism machine worked, where it has had to evolve and how we can continue to learn and develop a world class Counter Terrorism machine to manage and mitigate the threat of modern terrorism in all its forms.
About the Speaker
Neil Basu is the 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 on 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 since March 2017. Neil has been at the forefront of Counter Terrorism policing during an unprecedented shift in threat and has been instrumental in strengthening police capability, an increasing join-up with community policing, closer working with intelligence partners and an increase in preventative interventions to counter radicalisation. As ACSO, he represents CT Policing in its engagement with Government on operational and policy issues associated with tackling terrorism, espionage and proliferation. This portfolio also includes responsibility for the investigation of War Crime, Official Secrets Act offences and protection of VIPs, Royals, Embassies and Parliament.
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. An experienced career detective, he had served with Territorial Policing; Anti-Corruption; as well as Trident Homicide. Neil’s time with Serious and Organised Crime saw him leading teams in tackling drugs and firearms criminality; dealing with Turkish, Vietnamese and Chinese Organised Crime, and performed the role of Kidnap and Extortion Commander. Neil has held a variety of Chief Officer roles including the Commander for South East London; Commander Armed Policing; Commander for Operations Weeting/Elveden and Tuleta (the enquiries into media and public sector corruption); and Commander Gangs and Organised Crime. He was also 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 in Specialist Operations, and was responsible for the Operational Command Units of Royalty and Specialist Protection, Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection (PaDP), Aviation Policing (AP) and Protective Security Operations (PSO). In 2016 he became the Senior National Coordinator for CT investigations, and led the investigative response to the 5 2017 UK terrorist attacks and 14 foiled plots. In March 2018, he was appointed as ACSO and his first job was to deal with the aftermath of the Salisbury nerve agent attack. Neil has been commended 10 times during his career for bravery, leadership and detective ability, including two Commissioner’s Commendations. He was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) for distinguished service in 2016.
Interests and Hobbies: Neil re-married in October 2018, and enjoys spending time with his wife and three sons, film, sport (any but preferably rugby, tennis and cricket), music and motorcycling.