Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting Harrow Times to 80360, or email us
Harrow Police's retiring Borough Commander, Dal Babu, praises bravery of police officers
Harrow Police’s popular Borough Commander has caused surprise by announcing that he will be stepping down next week.
Chief Superintendent Dal Babu yesterday announced that he would be retiring after 30 years in the Metropolitan Police.
To mark his final week in the job, the commander spoke to the Harrow Times about his achievements in the role and his hopes for the future.
He said: “Crime has gone down significantly so I am very, very pleased with the crime figures.
“I am also very, very pleased with the senior leadership team that we have here at Harrow Police and with the position we are in.
“We are a safe borough and crime is low – burglary is currently down 13.2 per cent on this time last year.”
But the borough commander also recognised that there are challenges ahead for his replacement, Chief Supt Simon Ovens.
He believes the key issues the new commander will face are domestic violence and burglary.
Mr Babu said that reported domestic violence is up 1.9 per cent on this time last year and that it will be important to continue to work hard to ensure burglary figures keep falling.
He also believes Chief Suptt Ovens will have to understand the religious and cultural diversity in Harrow.
He said: “We are the most religiously diverse borough in London. We want to celebrate that and I think that the new Borough Commander will need to understand that.
“When I arrived here we had the English Defense League turn up. I was very impressed with how the communities supported each other.
“People of all religions and cultures came out to defend the mosque and that was testament to what is so special about Harrow.”
The Chief Superintendent also acknowledged that there are challenges to come for Harrow Police as Boris Johnson considers closing Pinner Police Station and the police counter at the Civic Centre.
But he noted that if the Mayor of London imposes planned changes, Harrow will end up with 60 more police officers than it currently has.
He also suggested that police counters could eventually be opened in public buildings such as schools and libraries.
Finally, Mr Babu praised the “great bunch of people” that he has worked with during his time in Harrow.
He specifically highlighted the bravery of the officers who were injured tackling a knife-wielding paranoid schizophrenic in November 2011.
He said: “If it hadn’t been for the bravery of those officers members of the public would have been injured.
“They laid their safety on the line that day and I was amazed by how quickly they came back to work after suffering such serious injuries.”
Chief Superintendent Babu is going to use his retirement to spend more time with his daughters and to indulge his passion for cycling.
He intends to cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats and around Burma.
He will also dedicate time to working with the Harrow-based organisation, Mothers Against Gangs.