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‘Young citizens of tomorrow’, get fell in for new police cadetships

February 20, 2013

MODEL citizens of tomorrow is the hoped-for dividend today from a new police cadets scheme being rolled out across Staffordshire.

And a “call to arms” has gone out to be in the vanguard of the county’s Young Police Cadets Service, set to be launched as early as May.

The first unit of 30, based at police headquarters in Stafford, will eventually see its ranks swell to 180.

As the county’s deputy police and crime commissioner I want youngsters – aged 10 to 17 – to step up to the challenge of becoming young cadets and for suitably qualified adult volunteers to help run the schemes.

We are looking to find outstanding young citizens who will provide the workforce of tomorrow, on which so much depends.

These young police cadets are certain to enrich our society as well as keeping an eye on a ‘force for good’ in tomorrow’s world.

A business-sponsored Staffordshire Corporate Social Responsibility Fund will help finance the scheme with a uniform for those who pass out from full training.

Discipline, teamwork and friendship are the watchwords for the service’s brave new world where good citizenship is at the heart of making a difference to the community.

In addition it is hoped to provide young people with an environment in which they can develop their social and leadership skills as well as helping with their self-esteem, motivation, expectations and confidence – and crucially developing a relationship with the police.

It is nearly 25 years since the first volunteer cadet forces were introduced to their ‘beats’ in the UK.

Many of the existing schemes in the country are aimed at young people offering an opportunity to gain a practical understanding of policing, develop a spirit of adventure and good citizenship, while supporting local policing priorities through volunteering.

Staffordshire has a role model for young cadets right on their doorsteps. West Mercia’s Telford Cadets are the proud winners of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary groups.

Cadets nationwide often undertake a variety of activities, including self-defence training, marching, fitness, team working, role playing and taking part in team building weekends and Outward Bound events.

These groups are designed to provide a sense of what it is like to be a police officer, by getting cadets involved in various police-related activities, such as crime prevention projects.

Some forces also allow cadets to go out on patrol with police officers or PCSOs in connection with non-confrontational policing duties, once they reach the age of 16.

Cadets tend to operate like a family where discipline, friendship and teamwork are all important. By being a police cadet, you have the satisfaction of knowing that as a young person you are making a difference to your community and developing yourself for any future career.

I see that this unique group will be lead by peer example with the encouragement of pro-social, rather than anti-social, behaviour.

As a new team, the county’s Office of Police and Crime Commissioner is looking at various ways of fulfilling a pledge to release 3,000 more policing hours every week for serving officers in Staffordshire.

The message from the county Office of The Police and Crime Commissioner is crystal clear that Staffordshire should have the “most visible, technologically advanced and cost effective police service in the country”.

I believe it’s not just about putting more bobbies on the beat. It’s vitally important there has to be more interaction between the police and the community.

I’m certain this year we will see progress on a number of dedicated fronts – and the introduction of the Young Police Cadets Service for Staffordshire will be part of that forward-thinking strategy.

The youth of today must meet the challenge of being model citizens of tomorrow in our changing 21st century communities.”

  • Can you make a difference today for tomorrow’s world? Register your interest by calling 01785 232 385.

 

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