Tarique Ghaffur CBE, QPM
Tarique Ghaffur started his police career in Greater Manchester Police in 1974. In 1996 he passed the strategic command course, the gateway to the senior ranks, and was subsequently appointed Assistant Chief Constable of Leicestershire Constabulary. He joined the Metropolitan Police (London’s ‘Met’) in 1999.
He reached the rank of Assistant Commissioner in the Met Police, with responsibility for the Specialist Crime Directorate (SCD). The SCD includes homicide investigation, gun crime, drugs, child protection, the flying squad, the fraud squad, organised and serious crime, the Directorate of Intelligence and the Forensic Science Service. He was subsequently moved from the Specialist Crime Directorate to Central Operations, which included the unit charged with preparing for London’s hosting of the 2012 Olympic Games. However his working relationship with the Met Chief, Sir Ian Blair, turned acrimonious, and Tarique Ghaffur felt compelled to resign: “In retrospect, I should have seen that there was a culture clash between myself and Sir Ian, both in terms of ethnicity, which I am not permitted to discuss, and in what you might call working culture, our philosophy and style of policing. I found him a terrifically arrogant man” [Mail on Sunday, 7th December 2008].
Of East African origin, he is married with two children and has a strong interest in Asian music and sports – particularly squash where he has won numerous awards and represented the police service at national level.
Mr Ghaffur has a BA (Hons) in Public Administration and an MA in Criminology. Mr Ghaffur received the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) in 2001 for his services to policing as well as a number of high achievement awards from different communities in London.
It has been reported that on his first day at work in 1974, he was refused entry into the station where he was to be based until a white officer vouched for him.
In a conference speech to the National Black Police Association in August 2006, he made the following observations on community relations post July 7: “We must think long and hard about the causal factors of anger and resentment. In particular, we need to adopt an evidence-based approach to building solutions. I therefore support those who are calling for an independent judicial review of the issue of young Muslims and extremism and the wider community dimension. An equally important challenge is that certain elements of Muslim communities are in various stages of denial, whether about the events of 7th July, Muslim extremism or the responsibilities of the Muslim community and leadership at large. Elements of the Muslim community have become intensely self-reflective, both in terms of individuals and communities. They remain inward looking and are still in “survival” mode, thinking and feeling victimised, disconnected and separated. For some, there is an overriding preoccupation with conspiracy theories around the threat of terrorism and the significant political leverage of fear attributed to the West. The persistence of an attitude of denial will undoubtedly be counter-productive to any significant and lasting change. Yet despite all these challenges, I think it is important to acknowledge the almost universal condemnation of the July bomb attacks by the Muslim community and the corresponding willingness from Muslim communities to come forward in active participation. The key issue remains that everyone wants to feel safe, irrespective of which community they belong to. To achieve this mutual safety, communities must work together in an atmosphere of trust to prevent another terrorist attack.”
After leaving the Met, he has founded the Community Safety Foundation “to help vulnerable communities in Britain.”