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Saturday, 26 June 2010

Met boss: Day I took on racist yobs who called me 'Paki'

Scotland Yard's most senior Muslim officer has told how he challenged a gang of yobs who racially abused him while he was off duty.

Chief Superintendent Dal Babu was walking to a church confirmation when he was subjected to shouts of "Paki, Paki." The father-of-two blocked the men's path until help arrived, as they tried to jostle him and push past.
Two people have now been convicted over the abuse.

The Harrow borough commander, who was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, told how he was on his BlackBerry getting directions to the church in St Albans when he walked past a pub and saw three men. One shouted: "Paki, Paki."

In a witness statement, Mr Babu, 47, who lives in London, said one of the white men asked: "Come on Paki what you going to do about it?" Mr Babu added: "He beckoned me to come towards him with his hand. The two other men were laughing and started to walk towards me. I am unfamiliar with St Albans and was concerned I was going be assaulted. The man in the grey top continued to shout.

"I decided I should identify myself as a police officer and call for assistance. I then crossed the road and produced my warrant card and said, 'I am Chief Superintendent Babu from the Metropolitan Police I want to speak to you. I phoned 999. The three men started to surround me and I noticed all of them smelt of intoxicating liquor. I said, 'I want you to stay here, There is CCTV that will capture everything you do.'"

Two of the men tried to walk away but, said Mr Babu: "I blocked their path ... they pushed past me, the man in the yellow top pushed me causing my BlackBerry to fall and come apart." But he managed to hold on to two of them until uniformed officers arrived. The abuse took place last month. At Hertford magistrates' court, Jamie Healy, 27, of Watford, was given a community order after pleading guilty to a public order offence. Michael Dimaio, 24, of St Albans, is awaiting sentence after admitting causing racial aggravation.

Mr Babu, one of 10 children of Indian migrants, joined the Met in 1983 and is a founding member of the National Association of Muslim Police. He helped build bridges between police and Muslim communities after the 9/11 and the 7/7 bombings.

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