Friday is deadline to join first wave of new police cadet recruits
A DEADLINE is looming this week for the young citizens of tomorrow to get fell in to join today’s “model army” of police cadets.
A new Staffordshire Young Police Cadets Service has been launched and a call to arms has gone out to be in the vanguard of the movement.
Youngsters, aged 14 and 15, have until this Friday to put in their applications for the pilot scheme’s first 30 places covering the Stafford area.
The initial unit of cadets, based at Staffordshire Police HQ, will eventually see its ranks swell to 180 by the end of the year – split into junior and senior groups.
As the county’s deputy police and crime commissioner, tasked with overseeing the initiative, we are urging interested 14 and 15-years-olds in the Stafford borough to get involved.
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.
We’re looking for young people, aged 10 to 17, to become young cadets and for suitably qualified adult volunteers to help us run schemes by giving up a few hours a week.
Discipline, teamwork and friendship are the watchwords for the new scheme where good citizenship is at the heart of making a difference to your community.
Our call to arms is 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.
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.
A business-sponsored Staffordshire Corporate Social Responsibility Fund will help finance the scheme with a uniform for those who pass out from full training.
Staffordshire’s chief constable Mike Cunningham will be responsible for the operational delivery of the scheme.
He said: “They’ll get to wear their own police cadet uniform and work with members of Staffordshire Police to help keep communities safe and reassured.
“This could mean giving out safety advice to local people or helping us to find out about their concerns.
“They’ll also learn more about how we track down criminals, about the gadgets and equipment we use to fight crime and have a go at operational personal safety training.”
Cadets will also work towards Duke of Edinburgh bronze, silver and gold awards.
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.
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 countyOffice 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”.
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.
The deadline for application forms for the Stafford unit, which must be signed by a parent or guardian, is Friday, March 22 at 5pm. Forms can be downloaded from www.staffordshire.police.uk/cadets
The cadets’ website has gone live on
- If you are aged between 10 and 17 and think you can make a difference today for tomorrow’s world, then register your interest by calling 01785 232 385.