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Award for Isle of Wight police officer who helped Hurricane Irma victims

Isle of Wight County Press Image

Richard Wright

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Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 14:33

AN Isle of Wight police officer has been honoured at a special ceremony for the help he gave to those whose lives were devastated by Hurricane Irma.

PC Stuart Woods was one of the team of ten from Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley police who dropped everything at short notice to fly out to the British Virgin Islands after disaster struck in September.

With no running water or mains electricity, no roof on their accommodation and dangerous criminals on the run after the prison was severely damaged, the team was honoured for its "great determination and bravery" helping 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 from neighbourhoods.

Most days saw the team working at least 16 hours a day and any 'downtime' saw officers back out in the community, helping residents rebuild their homes.

This was all done in searing 40 degree heat wearing uniforms designed for British weather, not the Caribbean.

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

They even refused to leave when a second category five hurricane hit the island, insisting that they wanted to be there for those who needed them most.

Hampshire's Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney and Thames Valley's Chief Constable Francis Habgood presented the awards on behalf of both forces.

Chief Constable Pinkney said: "It was a tremendous honour to present these awards to officers who 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."

 


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