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Indian origin man is top cop at Oxford

india Updated: Feb 12, 2007 13:13 IST
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An India-origin police officer has been appointed to a top post in Oxford, marking a landmark in race relations for the police forces in Britain.

Chief Inspector Jack Malhi, 52, who hails from India, has replaced Chief Inspector Steph Cook as number two to Oxford's police commander, Superintendent Jim Trotman.

Malhi, who joined the Thames Valley Police from the Bedfordshire force, said: "When they offered me a job in Oxford I was delighted. When you talk about Oxford, you talk about an international landmark.

"You go to China or any part of India and say you come from Luton or Bedford and no one knows where you're from. Everyone, everywhere in the world, knows where Oxford is."

Local reports in Oxford say that Malhi joined the Bedfordshire Police in 1982 and worked as a local beat officer before working his way up the ranks. He has worked as a crime reduction co-ordinator and architectural liaison officer, drugs adviser, income generation officer and as Chief Officer and co-ordinator of the county's Special Constabulary.

He was also chairman of the Bedfordshire Black Police Association for eight years. Despite holding such high-ranking roles, however, Malhi believes getting justice for the victims of crime has been the most satisfying part of his career.

He told the Oxford Times, a leading local newspaper:"The best times are always on the front line. When I was a rural policeman, an elderly lady was charged £600 for £50 worth of work by some very dodgy people.

"She didn't want to report it, but I persuaded her to make a complaint. When she did, the greatest satisfaction was when the offender had to pay back the woman and meet her. She gave him a real earful.

"It's sad there are these people who exploit the vulnerable and the elderly."

In Oxford, one of Malhi's roles will be to oversee the development of neighbourhood policing, a scheme to provide every community with their own team of community police officers.

He said: "I'm looking forward to working in partnership with Oxford City Council. I also want to get to grips with students who are victims of crime. We get a disproportionate number of students in the city and they're very vulnerable when they're new."

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