Top cop begins

Cayman’s acting police chief James Smith stepped down on Friday to make way for his replacement, David Baines.

In a farewell statement released on Friday, Mr. Smith said: ‘It is with regret that I am leaving the RCIPS this week. I arrived during an unsettling time for officers and staff and I leave hoping that I managed to ease some of the issues being faced by the Service as a whole and by some individuals.’

Mr. Smith has served as acting police commissioner since January.

He added: ‘During my time here, I have been extremely impressed by the resilience, dedication and commitment of staff who work in a very demanding environment.’

Mr. Smith said there were still challenges ahead and wished his colleagues ‘the very best for the future as the Service continues to grow and develop’.

Mr. Baines begins works today [Monday] as the new Commissioner of Police.

Since March last year, when former Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan was placed on leave, Cayman has had three acting commissioners, with one, Royce Hipgrave, withdrawing from the job just two days after arriving on island.

Mr. Baines, 49, who immediately prior to taking up the post of Cayman’s police commissioner was an Assistant Chief Constable at Cheshire Police. He beat out five other short-listed candidates, including Mr. Smith.

He also beat out Detective Superintendent Ellie Bird of the British Transport Police; Former UK Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Richard Cullen; Michael Berkow, the police chief of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police in Georgia, USA; North Wales Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom, the so called ‘Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taliban’ (as one British tabloid dubbed him); and another unidentified Canadian applicant.