Burnley and Pendle police officers help hurricane-hit islands

Police officers from East Lancashire have spent a month in the British Virgin Islands, providing relief support after the devastation of Hurricane Irma.

Thursday, 30th November 2017, 2:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 11:11 am
The officers who have helped with the relief effort

Insp. Phil Hutchinson of Lancashire Police led a team of 50 UK officers, including four from Lancashire.

Departing on October 24th, they spent a month providing voluntary support in whatever way possible to help the local communities.

During their time in the Caribbean, the officers provided extra resources to the local police, supporting with all forms of policing.

They also offered much-needed support to the local community who are trying to rebuild their lives following Irma.

Among their efforts, they helped to rebuild a school and constructed six new classrooms; delivered aid packages; donated blood to help those in hospital; rebuilt a home for a vulnerable member of the community; and provided hands-on training to Virgin Island officers whose training is very sparse and ad-hoc.

Insp. Hutchinson said: “I feel immensely proud to have been given the opportunity to police the British Virgin Islands. They are some of the nicest people I have ever met and they are so thankful to the UK police officers who have helped them to rebuild their lives.

“It’s been emotional to see the devastation that the hurricane has caused with our own eyes, but that’s what has made the experience even more rewarding.

“Although our efforts were small in comparison to the scale of the damage, it’s clear that we’ve made a real difference to people’s lives.

“It’s been a life-changing deployment in so many ways and an experience we will never forget.”