Volunteer Police Cadets Get Going in Essex
The inaugural meeting of the first ever Essex Volunteer Police Cadet programme took place on April 23, 2015, bringing together young people from across the Chelmsford area to learn about policing, crime and citizenship alongside Essex police officers and staff.
The Volunteer Police Cadet (VPC) programme is a nationally recognised uniformed youth organisation now operating in the majority of forces in the UK. The programme aims to provide learning and development opportunities for young people between 13 and 18 years old from all backgrounds and social circumstances, including those who are vulnerable to crime or criminality.
Stephen Kavanagh, Essex Police Chief Constable, said:
“I am delighted we have welcomed the first ever Volunteer Police Cadets to Essex. These young people are blazing an important and exciting trail which will provide my officers and our partners with a greater opportunity to listen to and work with young people. We can also involve them still further in helping to make our communities even safer.
“I am hugely grateful to my officers and staff who have volunteered to take this programme forward, and to the young people who are giving their time and commitment to help their communities. It is important to me that the Volunteer Police Cadet programme is available to young people from all backgrounds, including those who may have had some involvement with the criminal justice system before, and those who may benefit from the opportunities most. I would encourage anyone interested to get in touch with my team, and I look forward to watching the programme grow.”
Young people in the VPC learn about various aspects of safety, the law and policing practice, with a particular focus on subjects relevant to teenagers, such as knife crime and cyber-bullying. Cadets also volunteer alongside police officers and staff – who also give their time voluntarily to lead the programme, and take part in a wide range of community safety activities such as leafleting operations in burglary hotspot areas, and supporting crime prevention events. The Essex Police-led programme also draws on the skills and expertise of the Community Safety Partnership, ensuring that it delivers across all local priorities.
Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said:
“I fully support the Volunteer Police Cadet programme. It enables Essex Police and our partner agencies to support the development of young people – particularly those at risk – and involve them in how we design and deliver policing and community safety initiatives across our county.
“It is important that we involve young people in what we do, and give them the opportunity to both challenge and support policing, ensuring that we deliver the best possible service for all communities – including young people. I look forward to watching our first Volunteer Police Cadets grow and develop new skills, and congratulate all those involved.”
The Essex VPC programme is currently operating in Chelmsford with weekly meetings taking place on Thursday evenings; and plans are underway to open further units in Epping and Southend in September 2015. Places are still available at the Chelmsford unit, and a waiting list is being compiled for the Southend and Epping units.
To find out more about the programme, or to request an application form, please click here.
Or write to: [email protected]