Mark Rowley

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Person.png Sir Mark Rowley   Companies HouseRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Mark Rowley.jpg
BornMark Peter Rowley
November 1964
Alma materSt Catharine's College (Cambridge)
Member ofRoyal United Services Institute for Defence Studies/Fellows

Sir Mark Rowley took up his appointment as Metropolitan Police Commissioner on 12 September 2022, returning from retirement and taking over the role vacated by Dame Cressida Dick.

Former Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said it was

"disappointing that Priti Patel and Sadiq Khan decided to bring back Mark Rowley from retirement. He spent much of his career in The Met. No evidence that he is a reformer. Missed opportunity."[1]

Having retired from The Met in 2018, Sir Mark Rowley formed the management consultancy business Mark Rowley Consulting Ltd.[2]

Policing career

In 1987, Mark Rowley began his policing career when he joined West Midlands Police as a constable. His early career centred on Birmingham where he undertook a broad range of both uniformed and detective roles.[3]

He reached the short list of four candidates to become head of the new National Crime Agency but lost out to Keith Bristow.[4][5]

Until Mark Rowley retired from The Met in March 2018, he was Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations of the Metropolitan Police Service, Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council Counter-Terrorism Coordination Committee and National Lead for Counter-Terrorism Policing. He was previously Chief Constable of Surrey Police (2009-2011).[6]

Playing politics

On 26 February 2018, Mark Rowley delivered a speech to the think tank Policy Exchange dedicated to attacking Muslim community organisations. Journalist Peter Oborne commented:

Rowley’s speech wasn’t about community policing. It was about top-down policing. It is significant and deeply ironic that the speech was made in Whitehall and organised by Dean Godson, director of Policy Exchange.
Mark Rowley is a policeman. There’s no reason why he should know, but Policy Exchange has dedicated itself to opposing rather than supporting so-called community policing. Before Policy Exchange set up shop 15 years ago the police and intelligence services concentrated with remarkable success on developing deep, trusting relationships with Muslim communities and institutions.
For example, during the Troubles in Northern Ireland they worked with Republican groups in order to isolate terrorists. Meanwhile British government, police and intelligence services saw their job as enforcing the law rather than policing ideology or personal beliefs.
Policy Exchange argued that this policy was wrong when it came to Islam. They argued against giving credibility to community groups, and pressed the authorities to police so-called "extremism" as well as fighting terror.
Policy Exchange made the case instead for an ideological battle against what it called Islamism, instead of old-fashioned policing of violent criminals.
So poor old Mark Rowley’s speech yesterday was a muddle, an intellectual shambles. Serves him right for playing politics when he ought to be doing his day job.[7]

Islamic State 'Beatles'

Mark Rowley has strong views about a four-person Islamic State execution cell dubbed the 'Beatles' who were named as Aine Davis, Mohammed Emwazi, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh. The ringleader of the 'Beatles', Mohammed Emwazi aka 'Jihadi John', was killed in a US drone strike in 2015. Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh were captured in Syria in January 2018 and were accused of links to a string of hostage murders in Iraq and Syria.

In February 2018, Home Secretary Amber Rudd left the door open for the two Londoners to face trial in the UK, after Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said they should not return to Britain because they had “turned their back on British ideas, British values”.

The US wants other countries to take responsibility for their own citizens arrested in the fight against IS.

Asked about the fate of the pair, Met Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said:

“The people who have done the most ghastly things overseas, the ones who don’t fight to the death, we would all like to see them never able to do anyone any harm ever again. Locking them up and throwing away the key would be a great idea.”

Mr Rowley was speaking to journalists ahead of a speech in February 2018, expected to be one of his final public engagements before his retirement from policing in March.[8]

Having spent more than six years in a Turkish prison, Aine Davis was arrested by the Met Police at Luton Airport, Bedfordshire, after being deported to England by Turkey on 10 August 2022 and appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court charged with terrorism offences the following day.[9] He will face trial on terror funding charges in February 2023, a pre-trial hearing at the Old Bailey announced on 2 September.[10]

Murdered in the UK

On 21 November 2022, Lockerbie campaigner Patrick Haseldine wrote this letter:

Sir Mark Rowley
Metropolitan Police Commissioner
New Scotland Yard
8-10 Broadway
London SW1H 0BG

Dear Sir Mark,


The following is taken from Wikipedia's biography of Bernt Carlsson:

Bernt Wilmar Carlsson was born in Stockholm 84 years ago today. Aged 50 years and one month, Bernt Carlsson was murdered in the UK on 21 December 1988.

After graduation from Stockholm University, Carlsson joined Sweden's foreign ministry, was assigned to be international secretary of the ruling Social Democratic Party in 1970 and was appointed special adviser to prime minister Olof Palme.

Following Palme's electoral defeat in October 1976, Carlsson moved to London and spent seven years as Secretary-General of the Socialist International (SI). Carlsson was engaged in extending the SI's influence beyond Europe to Third World countries, channelling money and political support to the struggle for liberation in Southern Africa. When there was a break-in at his London apartment in the early 1980s, Carlsson confided to his Canadian SI colleague Robin Sears:

"They messed things up and pawed through my papers. Then just to make sure I knew it wasn't a simple burglary they piled my money in the centre of the living-room rug." ... "But don't talk about it, and I'm not going to report it. That would just give the bastards their little victory."

When Olof Palme was re-elected as Sweden's PM in October 1982, Bernt Carlsson left London and spent several years as Olof Palme's special emissary to the Middle East and Africa. In 1985, Carlsson was appointed Head of Nordic Affairs at the foreign ministry in Stockholm.

Palme was assassinated on 28 February 1986 when walking home with his wife Lisbet from a cinema in Stockholm.

On 1 July 1987, Bernt Carlsson was appointed an Assistant-Secretary-General of the United Nations and the UN Commissioner for Namibia.

On 28 September 1987 Carlsson was interviewed in the World In Action TV documentary "The Case of the Disappearing Diamonds" when he warned that the UN would take action against those who were illegally exploiting Namibia's natural resources. A year later, he convened a meeting in Stockholm between the SWAPO leadership (Sam Nujoma, Hage Geingob and Hidipo Hamutenya), and a delegation of whites from Namibia to discuss developments in the independence process.

Namibia's independence (from unlawful occupation by apartheid South Africa) had been expected to take place soon after United Nations Security Council Resolution 435 was agreed in September 1978.

Ten years were to elapse until the Ronald Reagan/Mikhail Gorbachev summit of the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union in Moscow (29 May 1988 – 1 June 1988), finally secured the implementation of UNSCR 435, which would require South Africa to relinquish its control of Namibia.

The delay was blamed by author and journalist Christopher Hitchens on Chester Crocker's 'procrastination' and on President Reagan's 'attempt to change the subject to the presence of Cuban forces in Angola' as well as the 'flagrant bias' in America's Namibia policy in favour of apartheid South Africa. Hitchens praised Carlsson's role as a 'neutral mediator' in the process leading to Namibia's independence:

"An important participant was Bernt Carlsson, UN Commissioner for Namibia, who worked tirelessly for free elections in the colony and tried to isolate the racists diplomatically. Carlsson had been Secretary-General of the Socialist International, and International Secretary of the Swedish Social Democratic Party. He performed innumerable services for movements and individuals from Eastern Europe to Latin America. His death in the mass murder of the passengers on Pan American Flight 103 just before Christmas 1988, and just before the signing of the Namibia Accords in New York, is appalling beyond words."[11]

I wrote detailed letters to your predecessors Lord Hogan-Howe on 28 May 2015 (attachment 1) and Dame Cressida Dick on 22 January 2021 (attachment 2) asking them to launch a murder inquiry into the targeting of Bernt Carlsson on Pan Am Flight 103.

Today, in resubmitting that Bernt Carlsson murder inquiry request, I think it's safe to say that if Scotland Yard were to inculpate apartheid South Africa for Carlsson's murder, you would be well on the way to resolving two other cold cases involving famous Swedes: Dag Hammarskjöld and Olof Palme.

To assist your investigations, I attach a copy of a recent exchange of correspondence I had with retired South African High Court Judge Christopher Nicholson, who has written a book about the "Lucky Escapees from Pan Am Flight 103".

A copy of this email goes to Judge Nicholson and to Mindhouse Productions which, on 7 November 2022, was reported to have been commissioned by Sky to make a three-part documentary on the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 (attachment 4).

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Haseldine

Holding response

Inspector Adam Abdul-Hamid, Staff Officer to the Commissioner, responded by email at 5:00pm on 21 November 2022:

Dear Mr Haseldine,
I note previous replies to your request have related to contacting Police Scotland. Please can you accept this as a holding response on this matter whilst I do some fact finding into what you are asking.
Kind regards,
Adam Abdul-Hamid
New Scotland Yard
Victoria Embankment
London SW1A 2JL

Letter delivered

Although incorrectly addressed to 8-10 Broadway, the letter was delivered to Sir Mark Rowley at New Scotland Yard on 22 November 2022 at 8:36am and was signed for by "O. Tetterfio" (Royal Mail reference

Definitive reply

On 5 December 2022 at 09:53am, Inspector Abdul-Hamid emailed:

Dear Mr Haseldine,
Thank you for getting in touch with the Commissioner.
I have done some enquiries around this matter and I can confirm that primacy of any investigation remains with Police Scotland in this matter and therefore any enquiries in relation to this matter or request for any action to be taken in light of that should be sent to them directly.
Kind regards,
Adam Abdul-Hamid, Inspector, Staff Officer to the Commissioner
Address New Scotland Yard, Victoria Embankment, London, SW1A 2JL


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Targeting of Bernt Carlsson on Pan Am Flight 103Letter17 February 2023Patrick HaseldineIan Ferguson: "In the early stages of the Lockerbie investigation, Bernt Carlsson's Presikhaaf suitcase was seen as the more likely bomb case. Police sources at the time said that this case was cleared of being the suspect case on November 23rd 1989."
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