EIGHT Gwent Police officers will be flying out tonight to the British Virgin Islands to help with the disaster relief effort in the wake of hurricane Irma. 

A spokeswoman for the force said that seven police constables and a sergeant are joining officers from twelve other forces from across the United Kingdom to provide support to local police.

She said the officers, who all volunteered to help, will be based on the island for around four weeks and will assist the local police forces who are facing public order challenges including looting.

Chief Superintendent Marc Budden said: "Our thoughts are with all the families in the Caribbean who have lost loved ones or those whose lives have been decimated by this terrible disaster.

"We are pleased that our officers are able to support our national commitment to providing aid and relief to those that need it most.

"Our presence will offer support to the local officers and a reassuring presence to local communities living in affected areas.”

Chief Constable Julian Williams said this will be a "challenging" deployment.

"I am proud that our officers have offered their assistance," he said. "It speaks volumes for the dedication of those working within Gwent Police that they are prepared to make this commitment and I hope communities across Gwent will join me in wishing them well.”