Two Gloucestershire police officers have joined the aid response in the British Virgin Islands following Hurricane Irma.
Chief Inspector Paul Dutton landed on the island on Saturday 9 September, the first British police officer to arrive in the area, and Superintendent Rob Priddy flew out yesterday, Thursday 14 September, to join the efforts.
They are part of a cadre of British police officers who are helping to aid the local administration following the disaster.
Chief Inspector Paul Dutton says the level of damage caused by Hurricane Irma is hard to describe:
“Some homes have been completely destroyed, people have lost their business or their livelihoods and there is an urgent need for food, water and the materials to start rebuilding.
“However, there is a real sense of purpose, not just amongst those of us who’ve come to help, but amongst the island’s residents. We all just want to roll up our sleeves and get going.”
Chief Constable Rod Hansen says he is proud of Paul and Rob and is confident they can bring some much needed valuable skills:
“There are people who have lost everything following Hurricane Irma and are now feeling incredibly vulnerable. While restoring and maintaining order in these circumstances is of course important, showing compassion for those suffering terrible affliction is equally important – something the British police service is renowned for.
“These sad events have highlighted the varied work British police officers are sometimes asked to do, including duties beyond the UK, and I am proud of Paul and Rob for their efforts which reflects well on the efforts of emergency services personnel from the county .”