Hurriance Irma relief effort sees Surrey Police officers arrive in British Virgin Islands

September 13, 2017
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Two Surrey Police constables and a superintendent from the joint Surrey and Sussex Operations Command have arrived in the British Virgin Islands to help with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

They are part of a contingent of 53 officers from a total of 14 forces across the UK who flew out on Sunday (September 10) to assist the local police for an initial period of two weeks.

They also include a sergeant plus another five constables from Sussex, as requested by the National Police Co-ordination Centre (NPoCC).

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Following official requests made through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, NPoCC worked with government partners and the Ministry of Defence to arrange this deployment.

Officers will be embedded directly with the local military HQ and will support the local force in maintaining law, order and policing services.

They can also assist in locating missing persons, including British nationals , liaise with UK authorities and help with family liaison matters.

A number of police vehicles have been provided from local forces and will be sent to the Caribbean using RAF logistics.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry, head of the Surrey and Sussex Police Operations Command said: “We are glad to be able to provide this support as part of the UK response to what is a major international humanitarian crisis.”

All costs will be paid for by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the deployment of the officers does not affect the ability of the Surrey and Sussex forces to continue to provide a full policing service in both counties.

People walk near debris in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands
(Image: Gabi Gonzalez)

Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro said: “We have all seen the terrible devastation caused across the Caribbean and my heart goes out to all those who have been caught up in the hurricane and its aftermath.

“I’m really pleased and hugely grateful to those officers from Surrey and Sussex who have been swiftly deployed to some of the worst hit areas. They will face a difficult and challenging situation but I’m sure they’ll be able to lend their expertise to help the various communities out there.

“I am extremely proud of the British police force and all other volunteers who are helping in this relief effort and coming to the aid of those people in their hour of need.”

‘Willing to step up’

Minister for policing and the fire service, Nick Hurd, said: “It is our duty to ensure that we are assisting those most in need following Hurricane Irma.

“We are continuously monitoring the situation and working closely with police forces across the country to co-ordinate our response.”

Mr Hurd added: “The Home Office will be re-deploying a number of officers from the British Virgin Islands to Anguilla, where their assistance is most needed at this time.

“An additional five officers will be deployed to the British Virgin Islands to continue assistance there.

“I am proud that we have officers in this country that are willing to step up and help wherever it is needed.”

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Article source: http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/hurriance-irma-relief-effort-sees-13614547


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