Police cadet scheme wants young people to help make a difference
Teenagers being offered chance to take part in neighbourhood police initiatives and community projects
The scheme, which provides young people between the ages of 13 and 18 with an opportunity to develop their qualities and skills through a structured programme, and to enhance the relationship between the public and police, was launched during an official ceremony at The Beaconsfield School last Thursday evening (April 28).
The school will continue to be the focal meeting point for the cadets and their cadet leaders to meet every week, staffing levels and holidays permitting.
There are currently 14 cadets and six cadet leaders in the unit. However, these numbers will increase over the forthcoming weeks and months as the unit can hold a maximum of 25 cadets and the unit is always looking for potential leaders.
As dedicated volunteers wanting to make a difference in their local community, the cadets in each of the LPAs will take part in neighbourhood policing initiatives and community activities and events alongside police officers and staff, other volunteers, and partner agencies.
The cadets will directly supervised cadet leaders who be by are made up of officers, staff, police support volunteers, PCSOs and members of the Special Constabulary.
While cadets are not eligible for independent patrols and do not have any legal powers, they are able to support tasks such as crime prevention initiatives, message/leaflet delivery, test purchase operations, partnership public safety campaigns, and involvement in nonconfrontational local events under supervision.
They can also be involved in events locally such as Remembrance Day parades.
All cadet activities are risk assessed to comply with health and safety and child protection policies and procedures.
The cadets and their leaders will meet once a week during a chosen evening in their respective LPAs.
The meetings will include guest speakers or input on police related topics as part of an ongoing training programme.
The cadet units will involve themselves in other activities at weekends and in school holidays, including activity breaks and national competitions.
All Thames Valley Police cadets will be educated and trained in various skills to improve their confidence in dealing with people from all walks of life and general aspects of life.
A uniform will be issued to the cadets and this will be worn at all meetings and suitable events.
Neighbourhood policing Sgt Melvin Mutch, who has been working behind the scenes to set up the scheme and who will continue to oversee it locally, said: “The scheme is a fantastic opportunity for young people to gain a practical understanding of policing combined with volunteering in the community.
“I am grateful to The Beaconsfield School for allowing us to hold our meetings at their school. Given the scheme is open to young people across the local police area; we felt this was a central point for everyone to easily access.
“I would also like to thank Buckinghamshire County Council for sponsoring the programme.”
He added: “Although our unit is not up and running at full capacity as yet, I envisage a lot of interest from young people wanting to join, and we will do our best to accommodate those expressing an interest to join.
“Our main method of recruiting cadets is via local schools and community groups. However, this will occasionally be backed by some advertising.”
Those interested in joining any of the cadet units in Thames Valley can register their expressions of interest by visiting www. thamesvalley.police.uk.