A new Commissioner has been appointed to the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF), it was announced by the Governor, HE Peter Beckingham, today Wednesday 10 December.
James Smith will take up the position in charge of the 280 officers and staff of the RTCIPF in February 2015, following the conclusion of the contract of his predecessor, Canadian Colin Farquhar.
"I am delighted that we have secured the agreement of Jim Smith to take over as the next Police Commissioner this February. 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" said Governor Peter Beckingham, who approves all senior public appointments in the Territory.
"He was a Commander in London’s Metropolitan Police Service, where he was involved in the response to the London terrorist bombings, and introduced neighbourhood policing, a concept which we might usefully further develop here. He was also a senior officer in the Scottish police. His experience makes him a first class leader to take forward the men and women of the RTCIPF into the next stage of their professional and organisational development."
The Governor also paid tribute to the outgoing Commissioner. "I would like to take this opportunity to publicly recognise the contribution of Commissioner Colin Farquhar to policing here in the Turks and Caicos Islands, which continues to benefit from one of the lowest crime rates in the Caribbean and is widely recognised as a largely safe and welcoming destination for our residents and visitors. I wish him well as he resumes his policing career in Canada".
Commenting on his appointment James Smith said; “It is a tremendous honour to be appointed Commissioner of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force. I believe that my experiences in the UK and overseas have a lot to offer my new RTCIPF colleagues, and I look forward to discussing with them their ideas as to how we can use this knowledge and practical experience to serve all the communities across the Turks and Caicos Islands.”
The RTCIPF Commissioner role was advertised locally, regionally and internationally. It attracted a field of nearly 30 applicants. Six candidates were shortlisted and interviewed by a panel comprising the Governor, Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles, Attorney General, Cheryl Astwood-Tull, Chair, Human Rights Commission, and Larry Covington, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Regional Security Adviser to the Caribbean Overseas Territories and a former UK police officer. They made a unanimous decision to appoint Jim Smith.