A veteran U.K. lawman who held the Cayman Islands police commissioner’s job during an interim period in late 2008 and early 2009 has been named to another top Caribbean law enforcement job.
James Smith was announced Wednesday as the next commissioner of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force.
Mr. Smith will take over the 280-person department in February. He succeeds Commissioner Colin Farquhar, who will be returning to his native Canada at the end of his contract.
Former Acting Royal Cayman Islands Police Commissioner Smith’s tenure between Dec. 1, 2008 and May 31, 2009 in Cayman was marked by the latter stages of the ill-fated Operation Tempura corruption investigation in the territory. Mr. Smith was responsible for supervising the police corruption probe into his own department during his appointment.
Mr. Smith was also responsible – along with Tempura’s senior investigator Martin Bridger – for setting up and directing various spin-off criminal probes into allegations of police misconduct that became known collectively as Operation Cealt. Strands of the Cealt investigation were eventually passed on to the RCIPS Anti-Corruption Unit and a few of the cases remain active today.
He was also initially named in a 2009 lawsuit filed over the Tempura investigation by former RCIPS Commissioner Stuart Kernohan, but was eventually dropped from the lawsuit in 2011.
Mr. Smith lost out on his bid for the permanent Cayman top job in mid-2009 to current Police Commissioner David Baines.
Prior to the Cayman Islands appointment Mr. Smith served as a commander in London’s Metropolitan Police and also worked in the Scottish Police.