05 February 2013
Dal Babu, one of the most senior police officers in the UK police force, has resigned after 30 years in the service in protest against the prevailing bias against the recruitment of officers from ethnic minorities. His resignation came after refusal of his request to be promoted to chief officer rank.
The high-ranking officer has been a prominent and eloquent spokesman for Muslim police officers with wide public exposure. He was also awarded an OBE in recognition for his efforts to encourage the soaring public confidence ratings in the London borough of Harrow which he runs.
In spite of holding a master’s degree and speaking four languages, he was considered unsuitable to assume chief officer rank because his media interview skills were not deemed good enough. He was also refused a place on the strategic command course for the next generation of chief constables.
In 2003 Dal Babu had won a case against the Metropolitan Police force after claiming that he failed to win promotion and faced discrimination because of his faith. The tribunal heard that Babu was interviewed for promotion. He was failed on one competency, decision-making, but did not feel the assessment reflected his performance. He was also concerned that the centre did not have prayer facilities, even though these were available in other police buildings.
When he decided to take his case to a tribunal he gained access to the documents used in his assessment and was able to prove his marking had been unfair. The Met tried but failed to have the case struck out on a legal technicality.
Only 2.8 percent of police leadership is from black or minority ethnic backgrounds. This year, there are no black or minority ethnic officers on the course and chief officers admit the service is in the grip of a diversity crisis.