Tarique Ghaffur

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Tarique Ghaffur
Tarique Ghaffur 1.jpg
Ghaffur pictured at the Asian Woman Awards in November 2007
Born (1958-06-08) 8 June 1958 (age 58)
Jinja, Uganda
Awards CBE
Police career
Department Metropolitan Police Service
Years of service 1974–2008
Rank Assistant Commissioner

Tarique Ghaffur, CBE QPM (/təˈrk ɡæˈfʊər/;[1] born 8 June 1958)[2] is a former high-ranking British police officer in London's Metropolitan Police Service. His last post was that of Assistant Commissioner–Central Operations.


Born in Jinja, Uganda[3] to Muslim Punjabi parents hailing from modern-day Pakistan in 1958,[4] Ghaffur and his family emigrated to the United Kingdom in 1972 after President Idi Amin forcibly expelled most of the country's minority South Asian population. Ghaffur's parents had previously emigrated from British India's Punjab region to Uganda during the Partition of India in 1947.[5] Tarique's family was taken to a resettlement camp in Staffordshire.

Two years later, in 1974, Ghaffur joined the newly formed Greater Manchester Police, where he worked in uniform and as a CID detective. One of only two police officers from a minority ethnic background out of a force of over 6,000, Ghaffur asserted that the desk sergeant on his first day with the police refused him admission to the station as he did not believe he was a police officer.[6]

Ghaffur rose through the ranks at the GMP, reaching the rank of Superintendent and transferring to Leicestershire Constabulary in 1989. He was appointed Assistant Chief Constable in Lancashire Constabulary. After reaching the rank of Deputy Chief Constable at Lancashire, he transferred to the Metropolitan Police Service in 1999 as a Deputy Assistant Commissioner and in 2000 served as Borough Commander of the City of Westminster.

In 2001, he was promoted to Assistant Commissioner, and headed three of the Metropolitan Police's Operational Command Units: the Directorate of Performance, Review and Standards in 2001; the Specialist Crime Directorate from November 2002; and Central Operations from 2006.

He is currently dean of the London Community College of Education,[7] a private college in London.


The UK's highest-ranking Asian Muslim police officer, he often used his position to comment on issues of alleged racism in the police service, and on alleged discrimination against Muslims as a factor inciting radical Islam.[8] In June 2008 he accused his own force of racism, claiming that, inter alia, he was not properly consulted over the proposed law involving 42-day detentions for terror suspects[9] The MPS rejected the claim of racism and said it would "robustly challenge" Mr Ghaffur's claim at any employment tribunal.[10]

In 2005 Tarique Ghaffur and Sir Ian Blair were involved in Operation Finnean, the investigation into supermodel Kate Moss's alleged possession and distribution of a Class A drug. It has been alleged that the operation was systematically sabotaged by officers eager to undermine Ghaffur and Blair's high-profile stance on celebrity drug taking, and thereby erode their authority.[11]

On 28 August 2008, Ghaffur held a press conference at which he accused the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, of racism and discrimination, and confirmed speculation that he would take proceedings against Sir Ian and the MPS at an employment tribunal.[12] In the following days, Ghaffur claimed, he received death threats which he claims to believe come (in part) from within the MPS. As a consequence he says he considered a leave of absence, and his lawyers hired a firm of private bodyguards to secure his safety. Although he has disclosed them in the media, Ghaffur has not reported these death threats to the police, claiming that he has lost faith in the ability and willingness of the police to protect him.[13]

On 25 November 2008, the Metropolitan Police Authority confirmed that Tarique Ghaffur had agreed an out-of-court settlement for £300,000 in his racial discrimination claim against Scotland Yard. Both parties agreed to a confidentiality clause and Ghaffur retired from the Metropolitan Police on 27 November 2008.[14]


Ghaffur studied at Manchester Metropolitan University and graduated BA (Hons) in Public Administration and MA in Criminology.


Ghaffur receiving the Asian Woman Magazine Lifetime achievement award 2007

Ghaffur was awarded the Queen's Police Medal (QPM) in 2001 for Services to Policing and he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for Services to Policing in the 2004 Queen's Birthday Honours.[15]

Ghaffur was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from Manchester Metropolitan University on 16 July 2007, and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Leicester on 25 January 2008.


Ghaffur is married and has two children. He has been married twice.[16]


  1. ^ How to say: Tarique Ghaffur, BBC News, 7 August 2006.
  2. ^ Although The Guardian specifically states Ghaffur's birthdate as 8 June 1955 in a 2008 profile, the same newspaper says 1958 here. In addition, several sources refer to Ghaffur joining the Greater Manchester Police at age 16 in 1974, which corresponds to the 1958 date.
  3. ^ Coleman, Pamela: My best teacher, TES Magazine, 8 November 2002.
  4. ^ Dawar, Anil: Tarique Ghaffur profile: Policeman who navigated race minefields, The Guardian, 5 November 2008.
  5. ^ Akbar, Arifa: 'My family came to Britain with £700 and reinvented themselves. But the scars remain', The Independent, 17 August 2003.
  6. ^ John, Cindi: Profile: Tarique Ghaffur, BBC News, 7 August 2006.
  7. ^ Board of Directors LCCE
  8. ^ Muslim Met chief gets 'hate mail', BBC News, 25 August 2006.
  9. ^ Top Asian officer in race claim, BBC News, 25 June 2008.
  10. ^ Thomas, David (31 August 2008). "Race-row policeman Tarique Ghaffur 'fears for his life' after death threats". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 31 August 2008. 
  11. ^ Fred Vermorel, Addicted to Love: the Kate Moss Story, Omnibus Press, second edition, 2007, pp 198–206 (ISBN 978-1-84609-755-3)
  12. ^ Dodd, Vikram: Top Asian officer sets out race case and directly blames Met police chief, The Guardian, 29 August 2008.
  13. ^ Townsend, Mark (31 August 2008). "Met police 'bombard top officer with death threats". The Observer. London. Retrieved 31 August 2008. 
  14. ^ Gray, Sadie (25 November 2008). "Tarique Ghaffur settles out of court with Met commissioner". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 November 2008. 
  15. ^ Queen honours senior Met officer, BBC News, 12 June 2004.
  16. ^ Richard Edwards (29 August 2008). "Daily Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 30 August 2008. 

External links[edit]

Police appointments
Preceded by
Michael J. Todd
Metropolitan Police Service
Assistant Commissioner (Policy, Review and Standards)

Succeeded by
Preceded by
First incumbent
Metropolitan Police Service
Assistant Commissioner (Specialist Crime)

Succeeded by
Stephen House
Preceded by
Stephen House
Metropolitan Police Service
Assistant Commissioner (Central Operations)

Succeeded by
Chris Allison