CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Borough commander to leave role and is off to the Isle of Wight

Police chief takes new job with force in Hampshire

23 July, 2021 — By Richard Osley

Deep in thought: Chief Supt Raj Kohli

DEAR Hampshire, dear the Isle of Wight, it is time to log on to Twitter and find a police chief coming your way.

Whether you end up loving him or not loving him, Raj Kohli is not like your average top cop.

A very keen user of Twitter, it was perhaps no surprise that the first that many people knew that he would be swapping his borough commander role in Camden for patrols in Portsmouth and the ferry to Cowes was on the social media site.

Up popped the message on Tuesday night: “I have some news to share…”

Chief Supt Kohli went on to explain that “after 29 years with the Met Police, I have accepted an offer to join Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney and her fantastic team at Hampshire police – subject to passing a medical – on September 26”.

He added that he was looking forward to working in the county and the Isle of Wight.

His departure, however, will end a near three-year spell as Islington’s police leader – a turbulent time in which there have been knife murders on the streets over gang rivalries.

Often, he has been frank about how resources are shared out across the borough and the targeting of certain areas. But he has also participated in wider debates – on Twitter and in real life – about how society has been desensitised to violence and the need for a community response.

The Tribune tried to contact him this week but requests did not get answered. He has normally prided himself on speaking to the media and is known for being confident in front of the cameras.

The chief super’s recent chocolate poll

The highest ranked Sikh in the Met, he had already served in neighbouring Camden earlier in his career and was the chief police officer who had to deal with the press pack which descended on Camden Square on the night Amy Winehouse died 10 years ago this week.

He moved around different boroughs before returning to be the number one in both Islington and Camden at the start of 2019.

This brought some stability after a carousel which had seen three different officers in the space of the year. He vowed not to be gone in six months.

He has fronted the community police response to serious violence including fatal stabbings.

And his time in charge has coincided with the coronavirus lockdowns during which he pleaded with the public to use common sense.

He joked at the time about the number of people out and about: “If that many people exercised on a regular basis in the UK then we’d be better at the Olympics.”

With both praise or scrutiny, however, he has taken each challenge in his stride. And that Twitter feed of his is always rattling away.

Over the past two-and-a-half years he has posted many important updates about criminal incidents, and he used his tweets to celebrate the work of some of the younger officers in his borough team.

But, the people of Hampshire will also be treated to polls about their favourite form of orange chocolate and their top five Abba songs.

They are in for a colourful ride.

Farewell to Twitter-loving Raj, the ‘knock out hot looking Indian’

RAJ Kohli announced his decision to leave Camden with… you guessed it… a tweet on Tuesday night. He is one of the most active police chiefs on the social media site, mixing his output between updates from Camden, debates about the world with people who tweet him back at him and a few Christmas cracker-style jokes… all the time keeping a close eye on his rising number of followers.

An explanation of how to spell his surname: Kohli

His five favourite Abba songs are revealed

Keeping a close eye on the follower count

 

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