Sgt Inocenio Lobo

Almost 25 years after he swapped life at the sharp end of politics in Goa for spending his days policing London’s railways, Sgt Inocencio Lobo says he has absolutely no regrets.

Inocencio came to the UK in 1990 as the IRA was ramping up its bombing campaign on the capital. He recalls seeing police officers searching train stations after receiving bomb threats and it making him angry.

He said: “I used to think ‘why are they involving innocent people in this?’. I’ve always hated bullies. At the time I thought they were just bullying people and now it’s the same thing – these terrorists are just bullies. I wanted to do something about that and it played a part in why I wanted to join the police.”


Inocencio’s career at BTP has been long and varied, taking him from patrolling Victoria and Waterloo Stations, to thief-taking on the Dip Squad and Robbery Squad and a stint in the Intelligence Unit. As his children came along, he was able to take up roles that were less demanding on family life, and says the Force was understanding and flexible when he needed to concentrate on his other commitments. After being promoted to the rank of Sergeant, he took charge of a large team based at Clapham Junction before moving over to Richmond Station.

He said: “At BTP it’s different because you work with so many people. At Richmond, the area I was responsible for covered five different boroughs, three police services and 40 square miles.

“But as a relatively small police force, the advantage is that I know virtually every police officer in the London area by name – we’re not just a number.”

Inocencio Lobo

 Quote-2 It’s an exciting and glamorous job. You put on your uniform, go out there and people look up to you. Of course, there are some people who don’t like you, but there’s no point in wanting the whole world to love you, so you get the job done and you’re fine. qupte

- Sgt Inocencio Lobo


Inocencio was born in Mombasa, Kenya, and moved to Goa with his parents in 1963 to begin school. After he completed his education, he had a range of jobs, including a senior role in Goan politics as the Private Secretary to the Deputy Chief Minister.

When he joined BTP, he was one of a handful of Asian police officers, but he says this was never an issue. He said: “I was told to worry about racism but I came into policing with my eyes open. Because I grew up in British Africa and India, I never felt that much alienated. Officers would go out of their way to chat to me and after shifts we’d go for a drink and discuss what had happened. I’ve always met nice people in the Force.”

As he nears the end of his policing career, Inocencio has some wise words of advice for aspiring Police Officers.

He said: “It’s an exciting and glamorous job. You put on your uniform, go out there and people look up to you. Of course, there are some people who don’t like you, but there’s no point in wanting the whole world to love you, so you get the job done and you’re fine.

“There is a lot of inconvenience – you work different shifts. You need a strong family support system behind you, but once you get that in place it’s a great job. You will come across so many different interesting and exciting incidents and occasions all the time. It’s unbelievable. They say no day is the same and it’s true.

“Most importantly you’ve got to be flexible and open to change. Trust me, the feeling when you arrest someone who you know has committed a terrible offence is incredible. As long as you have in mind it’s not going to be a bed of roses all the time, it’s still one of the most rewarding careers you can have.

“Within the police service you can go right up. Have ambition, commit yourself, study and pass your exams. You can go as high as you want. I’m so pleased I did what I did because I can’t imagine being in this position with this attitude and this frame of mind if I’d done something different.”

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