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Essex police officers fly to Caribbean to help in Irma disaster

Seven police officers from Essex have travelled to the Caribbean to help with the recovery following Hurricane Irma. Photo: NASA

Seven Essex Police officers have travelled to the Caribbean to help with the recovery following Hurricane Irma.

The officers, led by Superintendent Andy Mariner, are among 53 from 14 forces to be providing support following Irma.

They flew out of RAF Brize Norton on Sunday in co-operation with the Ministry of Defence.

Hurricane Irma has cause massive destruction on many Caribbean Islands. Credit: PA Images

Their role will be to support the local force maintain law, order and policing services.

They may also be helping to locate missing people, liaising with UK authorities and assisting with family liaison.

The team will be in the Caribbean for two weeks.

Supt Mariner said: “All of us have seen the footage on the news of the hurricane and the utter devastation it’s left behind and wanted to help.

“When the opportunity came to help out it was something we felt we had to do."

Hurricane Irma damage on the Dutch Caribbean island of Sint Maarten (Saint Martin) Credit: PA Images

“Policing is about helping people, often when they’re most in need and at their most vulnerable, and this situation is no different.

“I think we’re all nervously anticipating what it’s going to look like when we get there but optimistic about what we can do to help.”

– Supt Andy Mariner
A street is completely flooded in Havanna, Cuba after Hurricane Irma struck. Credit: Bernd-Michael Kubisch/DPA/PA Images

“I’m really proud of the team going to help those affected by Hurricane Irma.

“When the call came in for help, they didn’t hesitate to volunteer despite the impact being away will have on their families.

“I think this attitude and dedication to putting other people first, especially those in real need, exemplifies what is great about our officers.

– Pippa Milla, Assistant Chief Constable, Essex

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