Former Operation Cealt boss gets TCI top cop job

| 11/12/2014

(CNS): The UK police officer who presided over the still secret spin-off investigation from Operation Tempura, known as Operation Cealt, has been appointed police commissioner in the Turks and Caicos Islands. James Smith was acting commissioner in Cayman in 2009, between the departure of David George, who was appointed by the UK when operation Tempura began and who left shortly after the fallout of the Justice Henderson unlawful arrest, and the arrival of David Baines. Smith will take up the position in TCI in February and will be in charge of 280 officers and staff, a release from the TCI governor’s office said.

According to officials, the job was advertised locally and internationally, attracting nearly 30 applicants. Six candidates were shortlisted and interviewed by a panel comprising the TCI governor, attorney general, the Human Rights Commission chair and the elusive Larry Covington, the FCO’s regional security adviser for the territories.

"I am delighted that we have secured the agreement of Jim Smith to take over as the next Police Commissioner this February," said TCI governor, Peter Beckingham, who approves all senior public appointments in the territory. "He brings the most senior experience from both the UK and Caribbean, having been an assistant and deputy chief constable in the UK, and was previously also acting police commissioner of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service."

When he was here in Cayman, Smith dealt with the fallout of Operation Tempura and established Operation Cealt, which was supposed to investigate the thousands of hours of tapes that the Tempura team had recorded from interviews with people who came forward in connection with alleged police corruption and the cover-up of serious crimes the in Cayman Islands.

But the results of that probe have never been revealed. Although the current RCIPS management has indicated that some officers were dismissed or forced to resign, there has been no public accountability about what had occurred and what were the consequences.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So he wasn't good enough for RCIPS but is OK for TCI, which is a more complex jurisdiction?. 

  2. Pit Bull says:

    It is shame Mr Smith is not eligible to be nominated for Heroes Day.  Good luck to you and thank you for your commitment to service.

  3. Raffaelle says:

    The difference is Turks & Caicos people will act and not run their mouth like Caymanians do saying that Mr Smith is a fair man and will do well in TCI and we wish him the very best and would have made a good commissioner. if we had not listen to the few Suckup Caymanians who opted for this destabilizing program which arrive here with the current commissioner Baines.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Damn! Wish Baines had applied and was successful!

  5. Anonymous says:

    One word comes to mind….I N D E P E N D A N C E

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well done to Mr Smith.  The moaners have no idea how valuable your hard work was.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Another slap in the face for Turks and Caicos Islands /  90% black … they can't pull this off anywhere else!

    • Anonymous says:

      Being black is not a qualification…or were you thinking entitlement…?

    • Anony-me says:

      Well, some cities in the USA come to mind (Ferguson if you need the recent example spelled out).

    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      And I guess you are over the moon about the Jamaican officers we have here in RCIPS too, right?

    • Diogenes says:

      Its part of their positive discrimination policy to hire ethnic minorities.