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Awards for Hampshire police who helped out after Hurricane Irma

Hants Police honour

9:06am 7th December 2017
(Updated 9:41am 7th December 2017)

A team of Hampshire police officers who helped those whose lives were destroyed by Hurricane Irma have been given a special award. 

Inspector Alex Reading, PC Stuart Woods, PC Terry Cooke, PC David Tester, and PC Martin Daniels dropped everything to fly out to the British Virgin Islands when disaster struck in September.

Hampshire Constabulary says they group - along with colleagues from Thames Valley Police - had no running water or mains electricity and no roof on their accommodation.

There were also dangerous criminals out on the run after the prison was severely damaged.

But, the force says, this team showed great determination and bravery to help those in need.

During their three week deployment they helped to secure the prisoners, assisted the military with establishing water and electricity supplies and cleared dangerous debris.

They also helped residents rebuild their homes.

This was all done in 40 degree heat - while wearing their uniforms, which are designed for British weather, not the Caribbean.

Food was also in short supply and the team relied on basic rations to get them through.

Hampshire Constabulary says the team even refused to leave when a second category five hurricane hit the island,  insisting they stay to help.

The officers have been described as a "true credit" to the policing family by the force's Chief Constable.

At a special ceremony, Olivia Pinkney presented the five officers with awards.

Chief Constable Pinkney said: “It was a tremendous honour to present these awards to officers from Hampshire and the Thames Valley.

“These officers are a true credit to the policing family and the communities they serve.

“These officers have dealt with some of the most challenging situations that any officer can face and they have shown nothing but great professionalism and compassion.

“I am so proud of them all and residents living in Hampshire and the Thames Valley should take great comfort in knowing that such dedicated officers are working hard every day to make our communities safer.”

Chief Constable Habgood added: “These officers provided security, support and compassion in really difficult circumstances.

“I know that the islanders were incredibly grateful for their presence and the officers were pleased to have been there to help them. I am very proud of them”

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