RCIPS Officers Dispatched to Eastern Caribbean Provide Needed Law Enforcement and Aerial Support

12 September 2017, 8:00 AM

As of today, 12 September, the sixteen RCIPS officers dispatched to the British Virgin Islands following an urgent request from the Governor of B.V.I. have been on the ground for three days, providing needed reinforcements to the local police service.  Despite difficult conditions we can confirm that they are safe and in good health, and carrying out urgent policing duties, including the provision of security for aid convoys.
"Without adequate policing, the environment cannot stabilize enough for aid to be delivered and people to get the help they need," said Derek Byrne, Commissioner of Police.  "We are proud to be able to help the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force restore law and order and deliver humanitarian aid."
A detachment of police officers from the UK have now joined RCIPS officers, who were the first policing reinforcements to arrive.
"Obviously security is important," said Matthew Forbes, Head of the Governor's Office of the Cayman Islands who deployed with RCIPS officers to provide support to the Governor's Office in B.V.I, "and the role that RCIPS officers are playing in providing vital security alongside B.V.I. police and the UK military is critical to operations here."
The RCIPS helicopter, which was dispatched to Turks and Caicos within 24 hours' notice and arrived immediately after Hurricane Irma on Saturday, has been assisting with aerial reconnaissance and support.  They have completed 35 flights, including two medevacs, and have visited all islands to check on residents, delivering supplies and water, and carrying out damage assessments. 
They were joined yesterday by the advance UK Military team, and are now working with those military teams to assist in assessments to establish aid, engineering and reconstruction plans.  
"The deployment request from the UK Foreign Office was a challenge at 24 hours' notice, but we made it happen with the help of many people," said Steve Fitzgerald, Executive Officer of the Air Operations Unit.  "We feel that our ability to arrive so early and equipped to immediately start operational support has made a real difference to people on the ground."

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