Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith said security is now a major concern for the BVI, which is reeling in the devastation of Hurricane Irma, and now British police officers are being deployed to assist with law and order.
Following official requests made through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, British police officers will be providing support to the Royal Islands Police Force.
The National Police Co-ordination Centre (NPoCC) has stated that it is working with government partners and the Ministry of Defence to deploy two members of the UK police cadre to the region to help co-ordinate the policing aspects of the response and a contingent of British officers to the British Virgin Islands to assist the local police.
"Two members of the UK police cadre, who offer support to the military in times of international crisis, flew out yesterday evening (Friday) with a further 53 British officers, from 14 police forces, due to depart Brize Norton tomorrow (Sunday), in cooperation with the MOD," NPoCC stated today, September 9.
Officers will be embedded directly with the military HQ and support the local force maintain law, order and policing services.
"They can also assist in locating missing persons, including British nationals, liaising with UK authorities and assisting with family liaison."
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for International Policing, Chief Constable Andy Marsh said, "Our thoughts are with all those affected by this horrific disaster. Through NPoCC we are mobilising police officers who have the experience and expertise to assist complex crisis operations. We received offers of support from officers across the country as soon as this crisis began."
Marsh added that, these officers, and the many others who volunteered, signify their commitment to help those in need and humanitarian instinct of the British police force, no matter where in the world.
"This is a fast-moving operation. We are working around the clock to get British police support to where it is needed most.”
There is major concerns over widespread looting and theft at businesses and homes. Concerns have also been raised about the prison, but no confirmation from authorities on the status of the Her Majesty's Prison at Balsam Ghut and its inmates.