New top cop views long term

| 08/12/2008

(CNS): In sharp contrast to his immediate predecessor, the new Acting Commissioner of Police, James Smith, may be more inclined to stay in the Cayman Islands, not just to fulfil for his short term contract as the ‘temp top cop’ but perhaps for the long haul. Smith applied for the senior position at the same time as the recently fired Commissioner Stuart Kernohan, and he says he has not ruled out applying again.

Smith, speaking at his first media briefing, admitted that he had previously applied for the position of Commissioner of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and been disappointed when he lost out in 2005 to Kernohan, who was recently fired by the Governor. Smith said he was still interested in the job and his temporary posting would allow him to find out if he would be suitable. Asked if he would be formally applying for the post, Smith made it clear it was a consideration.

“Let’s wait and see. It is important that I like what I see and the people like me and the way I work,” Smith said. “I have been very interested in the Cayman Islands.”

Smith also admitted that he was well acquainted with Martin Bridger, the Senior Investigating Officer in Operation Tempura, as he had been Bridger’s boss when he served in the Metropolitan Police, but he said he had not worked with him since 2006.

“There are 50,000 staff in the Metropolitan Police service, and at one point as part of the senior team one of my jobs was to supervise uniform policing for North West London at the time Martin Bridger was a Chief Inspector in one of the seven boroughs in that area,” he said, adding that he supervised him for around 9 months before Bridger was moved to another more challenging borough.

Smith refused to comment directly on Operation Tempura as he said he needed to spend more time assessing the circumstances, but he was already looking at it closely. Although David George, the former acting commissioner, was not given decision making supervision of the Special Police Investigation Team (SPIT) and Operation Tempura, Smith said that he had been given sole decision making over the investigation and as soon as was practical he would make an announcement. He said he had considerable experience dealing with the press and he intended to keep the community informed regarding this investigation and what could be expected once he had got a better idea of the current circumstances. However, he said he was very impressed by how well the local police were dealing with this very challenging situation.

“I arrived on Saturday (29 November) and expected to see a police force on its knees, despondent and demoralized, finding it difficult to police the community, but nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. “I thought the focus would be on this investigation but I think the focus of my job is to support these officers and to ensure that the people of the Cayman Islands get the police service they need.”

He did say, however, that Operation Tempura would be a major challenge to address and he had a number of significant briefings coming up this week regarding the situation, and he stated very clearly that he would be as forthcoming as possible about the details of the investigation and he intended to let the public know exactly what was happening.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I beg to differ with the new acting Commissioner of Police Mr. Smith views that the RCIPS is not demoralized, despondent etc etc at present.

    If this is so, why is it that the entire Senior Ranks of the RCIPS whom are all Caymanians with Law Degrees and Post Graduate Degrees, are applying for the "one" Deputy Chief Immigration Officer position (Enforcement) ????

    Big contradiction, that all is well in the RCIPS !!!!!

    My sources from inside tells me it certainly isn’t going to be a "Very Jolly Christmas" in the RCIPS for 2008 and the prospects for a "Prosperous New Year 2009" will likely be no different.  

  2. Alan Partridge says:

    Robert S.

    Your first bullet point would be considered racist in many countries. 

    The rest of your points are plain ridiculous.  Clearly education has failed you more than the police service.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Gee, I miss David Thursdfield.  He was a good commissioner and involved member of the community.  Our entire problem is NOT the British cops coming over here to work, but again the underlying CORRUPTION amonst our own ranks.  The top ranking CI cops let friends gamble and let other cops off of DUI charges…..period!  I know the UK low-ranking policeman who reported one of these instances and NOTHING will improve until the meessage is sent loud and clear.  If you abuse your powers as police, you will be fired and prosecuted.  Let’s go BACK to the original reasons for this mess….our own long-time Caymanian corruption was found out and is now trying to be buried in a scandal smokescreen.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope you are not so fool or blind and think that the UK cops don’t let their limey friends off DUI charges too. Bridger came here to investigate coruption and was found guilty of illegally obtaining search warrants, all happened here is that we put the fox in charge of the chickens and alot of feathers are flying.

      • Anonymous says:

        People pumping up the work of the Operation Tempura team should take a long, hard look at the UK press and the disgraceful state of the London Metropolitan Police then ask themselves – "Why are all these Met officers, and retired Met officers, investigating the RCIPS when their own force is in such a mess?"

        In the UK it’s known as a ‘sideways move’ – in other words you put the officers somewhere they hopefully will be able to stay out of trouble until the fuss dies down. In this case it clearly has not worked.

        The SIO has now been uncompromisingly criticised by a senior judge, according to official documents he appears to have broken the law on several occasions and is the subject of at least two serious complaints about his conduct during Operation Tempura yet, contrary to all accepted police procedures in the UK, he remains in post. Can anyone tell us why that is?


      • Anonymous says:

        Again, I can only say that it was my UK policeman roomate who was the RCIP officer who pulled over the drunken high ranking cop and all the Caymanian cops who arrived on the scene were afraid to arrest him (according to my roomate**- this long serving cop/retired cop was really crooked and  it was well known that he has drug/  thug  /criminal friends and they were AFRAID of him!)  He was not simply let off of a DUI…he was beliferant, falling down DRUNK, and had his 3 year old grandson in the pick-up truck with him, weaving in and out of traffic without seatbelts on and it is only by the grace of god that the child was not killed!  He failed two on the secen breath tests and was then "let go" once he arrive at GT station. 

  4. concern officers & Retired officers says:

    Please could everyone read today’s Caribbeannetnews article re corruption in Jamaica’s Constabulary by their own Security Minister Mr Trevor Macmillan.I think it is disrespectful and disgraceful that  certain members of the RCIPS have recruited over 20 officers from this jurisdiction. Who by the way are now here. Taking into consideration the issues we are now facing involving a corruption probe into the RCIPS and recent crimes. This is not new as the same members have done this before where these individuals have their own little private and loyal army around him to "Run Tings" This is one of the many factors now causing the current corruption problem. Why not hire from local residents we have enough retired ex police from various other Jurisdictions such as USA Canada Jamaica UK India Phillipines.We can do better than this Cayman? Insanity is define as doing the same thing over and over and believing you are  going to get a different outcome or result.

    • Anonymous says:

      Amen!  Until we stop allowing the local RCIP to fill their own ranks with buddies and boyz we will not combat corruption.  I agree that better policing would be served if we hired Canadians, Americans, UK, ect….  There is probablyenough of a problem in our small community when the police grew up with the criminals.  We always hear it from the juries, "but he was such a good boy, I knew his momma, he just CANT be guilty on his six set of charges…."  This is why the top ranking officers let the "said" DUI offender off and dropped the charges (again, the offender was a cop or former cop) and started this whole mess!

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow what a commentary!! Are Canadians, Americans and the British the only trustworthy people? What a serious indictment against our own people! By the way, the last Canadian, that i know of, that was recruited to the RCIPS, was convicted some time ago for misusing monies raised by a primary school PTA!

  5. Anonymous says:

    ‘rid ourselves of this mass set-up to ruin us under the UK regime’

    Robert, be careful of what you wish for, it might just come true.

    • Anonymous says:

      The only you need to worry about is the currupt Caymanian leadership.

      Whether you like it or not – you are still under UK Government Rule, so best get used to the idea.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Will you please stop referring to the Commissioner of Police, acting or otherwise,as the "Top Cop". It is becoming a cliche, unbefitting of an otherwise fine medium such as Cayman News Service.



  7. Robert S says:

    Here we go again, more bull**** about the police dept.

    Can you imagine how difficult it has been for the Governor to keep grasphing at straws.  Here Gov, i can lend you some Caymanian straws if you want to grasp at something, as we Caymanians have been grasping at straws all our life while we remain a member of the BO Territories.  Should I care whom we appoint to run the RCIP, no I couldn’t care less, regardless of who is appointed they are still going to give you the same results here goes:

    The new job description of the Commissioner of Police:

    1. You must be able to enjoy the sunshine on the sunniest of days whilst drinking Gin & Tonics in your speedo on 7Mile Beach, and wearing SPF #70 to protect your overly white complexion from burning red.

    2. You must NEVER update the public with the truth about the crime.  Do not call any nationalities other than Caymanians in your reports that committed the crimes.  Becareful that you do this so the foreign press don’t feel you are bullying their criminals who fled their shores to committ crimes here.

    3. You must always say YES to everything even if you haven’t heard the question or comment.  Always be a YES MAN for the Gov.  As he cannot accept the word NO.

    4. When and where possible DO NOT socialize with the Caymanians, they will always criticise you and complain about how you are not doing your job.  Just smile each month when you go online to see their hard tax paying money get dumped into your universal bank account.


    5. NEVER EVER let them see you sweat.  Instead of drinking your tea hot, refridgerate it so you can never have an excuse for your sweat bands as one drop will give both sides of the Government reason to say you are underpressure and can’t do the job because they too aren’t doing theirs, but need someone to blame.

    That is my take on anything that is shipped from mother England’s shores.  Therefore, until we declare independence and rid ourselves of this mass set-up to ruin us under the UK regime. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    Interesting comment –

    "Smith also admitted that he was well acquainted with Martin Bridger, the Senior Investigating Officer in Operation Tempura, as he had been Bridger’s boss when he served in the Metropolitan Police, but he said he had not worked with him since 2006."

    Under UK police regulations that effectively bars him from participating in the follow up investigation to the Cresswell report and the complaints contained therein.

    Which begs the question – "How can he now be placed in charge of Operation Tempura?"

    • Anonymous says:

      Could we have Section and page of the UK Police regulations.  Your statement most definitely deserves wide public discussion