PCC Sue Mountstevens with North Somerset Volunteer Police Cadets
Avon and Somerset Constabulary are looking for young people to sign up for a new Volunteer Police Cadet Unit starting up in Street, Somerset.
The Avon and Somerset Volunteer Police Cadet scheme has been running in Taunton and North Somerset since last year, following a successful pilot in South Gloucestershire in 2011.
The uniformed cadets will meet once a week during term time at Street Young People's Centre to learn about all aspects of policing and volunteer to help their communities.
Applications for the new unit will be open between September 16 and October 4 and application forms can be downloaded from www.avonandsomerset.police.uk .
To sign up teenagers should be aged between 14 and 17 and go to Crispin Secondary School or Millfield Senior School, or Strode College in Street or Mendip Pupil Referral Unit or St Dunstan's School in Glastonbury.
After initial training cadets get involved with helping their communities, attending events and patrolling with neighbourhood policing teams. In the first six months of the scheme, cadets spent 137 hours on public duties, including:
• handing out personal and property safety information to people at shopping centres
• carrying out 'vulnerable vehicle' surveys in car parks
• delivering crime prevention advice and information on police operations alongside neighbourhood teams.
Some of the older cadets also volunteer with neighbourhood teams, accompanying PCSOs on foot patrols, helping to carry out house-to-house enquiries and joining Community Speed Watch volunteers, monitoring speeds on local roads.
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: "Police Cadets have already been rolled out across parts of Avon and Somerset with great success and I have heard from residents that having the cadets in their local area has a positive and direct effect on their community.
"As well as portraying young people as positive role models, becoming a cadet offers a great opportunity to see first-hand what a career in the police service might be like. Cadets that I have spoken to at community events also tell me about the value they feel from being part of the scheme."
Chief Superintendent Nikki Watson, the commander of Somerset Police, said: "The cadets have already had a positive and direct effect on our communities. The feedback has been tremendous. When young people have a negative image these young people shatter that image again and again."
The Avon and Somerset Volunteer Police Cadet scheme is run by police officers, police staff and volunteers in their spare time with costs met through sponsorship.
Posted on Monday 2nd September 2013