The search is on for 150 young people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to join Leicestershire Police’s Volunteer Police Cadet (VPC) programme.
The programme invites young people aged 13 to 17 years to gain an unrivalled insight into policing and learn new skills, while helping their community and discovering their spirit of adventure.
Recruits will be trained by police officers, staff and cadet leaders, and will be given the opportunity to get involved with policing across the whole county, while following the national Volunteer Police Cadet programme.
Superintendent Shane O’Neill, the lead for Volunteers in Policing, said:
“Joining our cadet programme is a fantastic opportunity for young people to make a positive and valued contribution to policing in their local community.
“Cadets can gain a great deal from their involvement, from building personal confidence to making new friends and gaining experience for a future career in the police.
“Last year the cadets volunteered more than 10,000 hours to the force, which is tremendous. In this time they’ve developed their policing skills and knowledge, supported the force operationally and at community and partner events, completed recognised qualifications and had a lot of fun along the way.”
Leicestershire Police currently has almost 300 cadets enrolled on the programme. They attend weekly sessions during the academic year and are asked to volunteer three hours per month in their communities.
VPC Tarang Jethwa, 15, joined the cadet programme last year and said:
“I love going to events with officers and taking part in teambuilding activities in our unit sessions. Cadets is a great place to socialise with people and I’ve learned a lot too. Recently my unit has been learning about traffic signs and roads policing, and we’ve also been taught about the powers of arrest.
“My confidence has improved a lot since joining as a cadet, and it’s been really interesting to learn about our different communities and the diversity within them.”
Police cadets are also given the opportunity to complete formal qualifications such as the Duke of Edinburgh, take part in national competitions and tournaments and gain certificates in St John Ambulance first aid training.
VPC Kayla Simmonds, 17, has been a member of the Melton Cadet Unit for two years and is in the process of joining the Royal Air Force Police. She said:
“Since joining the cadets I’ve met lots of new people, and not only has my confidence improved, but also my ability to communicate effectively with people I don’t know.
“There’s something for everyone in the cadets, whether you’d like a future career in the force or not. It’s not just about police skills, it’s about life skills.”
The aims of the VPC programme are to promote a practical understanding of policing among young people, as well as to support local policing priorities through volunteering and giving young people a chance to be heard.
Anyone who would like to join them as a Volunteer Police Cadet, please visit Leicestershire Police’s website: leics.police.uk/couldyou and apply online today.
On the website there is a recruitment pack which will provide applicants with information around the application process, cadet unit locations and frequently asked questions.
Superintendent O’Neill said:
“I look forward to welcoming the new recruits in September, where they will enjoy an exciting and growing programme that is making a real difference to the communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.”
The force will be accepting applications until Saturday 31 March, and applicants must be due to turn 13 by Friday 31 August 2018.