OBV Profile - Dal Babu (Superintendent)

16 June 2010

For an individual from a minority community to join the Metropolitan Police force during a time when race relations in Britain were tense and led to many to well documented civil disturbances, you imagine Dal's family and friends may have questioned his wisdom.

Dal's desire to serve, inner strength and dedication to the job have been key factors in his elevation to the position of Superintendent today. Born and brought up in Walsall, West Midlands, Dal is now one of Britain's most high-ranking Muslim Police Officers. From 1983 to date Dal's placements have taken him to areas such as Redbridge, Islington, Haringey, Enfield, District Support Unit, House of Commons, Tower Hamlets, and a six-month secondment to Zimbabwe. This along with time spent with the Commission for Racial Equality and coordinating a Public Order Review at New Scotland Yard.

The path travelled by Dal has, of course, been one where his inner strength and moral compass have been tested. If not directly but as one of the few (approx 300) Muslim police officers. The actions of any one of the 300 hundred will have had an adverse effect on the others, as was clearly illustrated when one particular officer was excused from duty guarding Israel's embassy, for safety reasons back in 2006. At the time, Dal acknowledged that this would establish a problematical precedent 'if one's placement was determined on one's conscience'.

It was back in 2003, that Dal challenged the Metropolitan Police Service's commitment to equality in terms of promotion and selection for Black officers and this resulted in key challenges in the promotion process. His commitment to his job is unquestionable, but he has been prepared to challenge the police both internally and publicly. Dal's persistence for being treated equitably can be seen as a symbol, perhaps, of how an individual should seek redress in times when professional restraints are clearly evident.

As a senior officer within the Metropolitan Police force, Dal has seen how the force has evolved into a diverse institution that serves a diverse city. But the barriers faced by members of Muslim public are no different to Muslim police officers; issues around trust are still to be tackled. As the chairman of the Association of Muslim Officers within the Met, Dal has actively sought to address these concerns and build an atmosphere of understanding and cooperation.

The Superintendent's sense of civic duty and active engagement with organisations and the local community is evident. As chair of the Association of Muslim Officers, Dal was one of the leading figures in the joint venture 'Tackling anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in football' seminar which was co-hosted alongside the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the English football authorities and the Metropolitan Police. The event took place last April 2008 and was seen as a great success in community engagement and developing clear multi agency procedures.

During his 24-year career Dal has performed a combination of Operational, Community, Public Order and Partnership roles. In Camden Dal carried out groundbreaking work in reducing youth disorder around Kings Cross and Euston. His keen interest in promoting social justice has led him to play a prominent role in the Black Police Association and the National Association of Muslim Police.

A keen cyclist, Dal uses his pedal power daily, to and from work. A personal goals is too cycle to Kings Lynn with his 14 year old daughter, he says he enjoys spending as much time as possible with his two daughters Shanti and Suraiya.
Looking towards the future, Dal wants to continue to support his ethnic Minority colleagues in developing their policing careers.