Aspiring police cadets celebrated at awards ceremony in Dartford
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Outstanding contributions made by aspiring police cadets have been celebrated at a special awards ceremony in Dartford.
Twelve pupils from Temple Hill Primary Academy became Kent Police’s first ever ‘mini cadets’ and have benefitted enormously from the initiative.
Since April 2021 they have learned about road and online safety in addition to being educated about the day-to-day work of a police officer. Empowered by what they had learned, they also shared their knowledge with members of the public at Kent Police’s Engagement Centre in Bluewater.
Their hard work and success was celebrated during a ceremony at their school on 23 June 2021 and preparations are now underway to make the scheme available to other schools in the county.
Superintendent Jason Wenlock, who was at the ceremony, said: ‘The children involved in this initiative have put in an exceptional amount of effort and truly flourished.
‘From the outset they were enthusiastic and proud to take part in this exciting scheme and the progress they have made has been very pleasing.
‘I am confident the lessons they have learned will have a long lasting impact and, should they wish to one day join the police or another public body, I am sure they will make outstanding contributions.
‘This scheme isn’t just a one-off. We’ve seen meaningful results come from this work and we are now making arrangements to work with other schools in the near future.’
The mini cadets participated in a nine week programme, which began on 22 April after funding was made available by Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott.
Each session started with a drill before a coordinator from Kent Police educated them on a variety of topics, including the structure of the force and how to fill in their own pocket notebook entries – an important task for any police officer.
A police medic also taught them life saving skills, including first aid, CPR and how to get help from the emergency services.
Important advice on online safety was also shared, in addition to lessons about the dangers of consuming drugs.
With the assistance of staff from Kent Police, the pupils also took part in a road safety patrol outside their school gates and engaged with motorists about the importance of driving responsibly.
In addition to sessions at their school, the youngsters were also given a tour of Bluewater Police Station before attending the force’s Engagement Centre, which is based in a retail unit on the shopping centre’s upper level.
At the store, some of the mini cadets were confident enough to approach members of the public and share with them the important lessons they had learned.
Following on from the success of the pilot scheme, youth engagement officers are now in talks with several schools with a view to rolling out the scheme at the beginning of the next school year.
Matthew Scott, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent, said: ‘This is such a positive initiative and I’m delighted the children have responded so well and benefitted so much from it.
‘It’s one of just a few mini cadet programmes in the whole country and I’m glad Kent has been at the forefront of such a positive scheme.’
In addition to the mini cadets initiative, Kent Police also runs a cadets programme for young people aged 13 to 17.
Volunteers involved in the scheme meet once a week and participate in a number of community initiatives across the year.
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