Colin Smith (Police Officer)
Colin Smith is a security adviser and retired UK police officer.
Smith served as an RUC officer for 15 years from February 1976 to May 1991, rising to the rank of Detective Chief Inspector. He worked mainly "mainly in public order and counter terrorist intelligence and operations against the IRA and Loyalist paramilitaries." He told the Iraq Inquiry: "I know Sir Ronnie [Flanagan] as well for 25 years. He was my mentor in the RUC and we could probably be called friends."
In 1991, Smith transferred to the Metropolitan Police as a Detective Superintendent. He worked initially on strategic planning under then-Commissioner Peter Imbert and then for two years at CIB2 under Ian Blair as investigating officer on Operation GALLERY, a major police corruption investigation into the Metropolitan Police and the National Crime Squad. He subsequently served for two years as a senior investigating officer for major crime in southwest London.
Smith served in Hampshire Constabulary from September 1996 to December 2005. After serving in an HQ Strategy and Divisional Command post, he was appointed Assistant Chief Constable, Crime and Specialist Operations in April 2000.
In January 2005, Smith began a secondment to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with the rank of Deputy Chief Constable as Senior Police Advisor to the Iraqi Police in Basra. In May 2005, he was appointed UK Chief Police Advisor - Iraq, based in Baghdad, mentoring the Deputy Minister for Police and overseeing all UK police advisers in Baghdad and Basra. At the end of this period, in May 2006, he retired as a police officer.
In relation to British involvement in policing in Iraq, Smith told the Iraq Inquiry:
- I think the UK was very fortunate at that time, that the Patten report into the RUC had changed it, PSNI was set up, a number of officers -- and I think that was by agreement -- took compensation, retired early -- something like 80 per cent of Armourgroup at one stage were ex-RUC and people I worked with, and some of them at inspector/chief inspector level. These were people who had specialist skills. Some of them worked in the TIPS, ex-RUC Special Branch officers -- totally unique -- no other country could match that.
Smith served as Police Strategic Advisor to the Minister of Interior in Kosovo from June 2009 to December 2009.Police Strategic Advisor to Minister of Interior.
In April 2010, Smith began working in Islamabad, Pakistan as Senior Advisor in the 18 month EU ‘Civilian Capacity Building for Law Enforcement’ [CCBLE] Project with specific responsibility for developing the National Counter Terrorist Authority.
- Iraq Inquiry Oral Evidence