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Pleased to meet you as businesses see at first hand their ‘patron saints’

October 2, 2013

Cadets and, fIT was one of most satisfying experiences in more than 30 years of business life.

Putting politics to one side, here was Staffordshire business meeting up with their ‘creations’ – a group of youngsters who will undoubtedly go on to be our responsible citizens of tomorrow.

To put it simply . . .  the new Staffordshire Police Cadet Force welcomed the scheme’s inaugural patrons to their weekly session.

The county cadet scheme was launched in May to strengthen links between the police and young people in an initiative which was one of the Office of The Police and Crime Commissioner in Staffordshire’s key election pledges.

The project is all about encouraging young people to develop new skills and self-confidence in the service of communities.

It isn’t about recruiting police officers – it’s about developing young people and making a positive difference. The heart of young Police Cadets is to reconnect youngsters more widely with the police service in Staffordshire.

As deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Arnold, I’m honoured to be overseeing an initiative which is about engaging young people – some from challenging backgrounds – through a vibrant and positive programme.

It’s about giving youngsters a sense of civic duty, building character and experience and helping them become responsible citizens.

Cadets are being mainly funded by business with no money coming from frontline policing budgets.

Businesses are being invited to become patrons to help fund uniforms and equipment for the cadets. Police Mutual became the inaugural patrons after paying for uniforms for cadets in the 30-strong Stafford unit.

After Police Mutual chief executive Stephen Mann  met up with the cadets, he said: “We had a fantastic evening. It was a real privilege to see the cadets on drill. The lasting memory I will have is what a professional and fantastic bunch of young people they are. They looked resplendent in their uniforms and are a real credit to themselves and Staffordshire Police.”

Assistance chief constable Julian Blazeby, who also attended the event, added: “Cadets take part in lots of different activities and learn more about what police life is like. They get to wear their own police cadet uniform and 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 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.”

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