Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Ball has provided the funding to launch a cadet scheme in the county to allow young people to get an early introduction to police work.
He said: “I’m delighted to be able to provide funding for this scheme in Warwickshire. Young people – both boys and girls – will have the opportunity to be part of an excellent police force and be able to learn many valuable skills which will help them in their future careers, whatever path they choose to follow.
“I also hope they will make new friends and enjoy the time they spend with the cadets and I’m very much looking forward to meeting them in the months ahead.
“We have thousands of excellent young people in Warwickshire and I’m keen both to tap into their talents and to give them opportunities to counteract some of the negativity sometimes unfairly attached to the overwhelming majority of them.”
The scheme has today been launched by Warwickshire Police as part of its youth engagement initiative, and is looking for young people with an interest in policing and community work to apply to join.
Police cadets have been running successfully in the Telford policing area of West Mercia for the past 18 years, and last September units were set up in North Worcestershire, South Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire.
Warwickshire aims to build on the experience and success of West Mercia by setting up two units, one in the north of the county (Nuneaton) and one in the south (Leamington Spa).
Cadets will meet every Thursday night from 6pm to 9pm, and follow a structured two-year programme which will include studying for a Level 2 qualification in leadership and management from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), learning drill, hearing talks from members of the police family and helping with community projects.
They will also be able to take part in sporting activities and Outward Bound camps.
Meetings will be held at North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, Nuneaton, and Warwickshire College, Leamington Spa, starting in September.
Each unit will have up to 28 cadets, 14 in each of the two year groups, aged between 16 and 18 years old.
Recruitment opens today, Monday January 27, and is open to all young people who live in Warwickshire and are currently in Year 11 at school.
All applications must be received by Sunday April 6, after which interviews will be held.
Chief Superintendent Martin McNevin said: “Police cadets are an important part of the policing family, supporting our work and acting as ambassadors for young people in the community.
“I am delighted that Warwickshire Police is launching the scheme and look forward to welcoming our new cadets and working with them in the future.
“I encourage all young people who are currently in year 11 at school to consider joining Warwickshire Police Cadets, whether or not they have an interest in policing as a career.
“This is an opportunity to develop skills and build confidence in a safe and structured environment whilst giving something to the community. The experience will stand cadets in good stead for any path in life.
“All cadets will be expected to commit to attending meetings regularly, and doing 15 hours voluntary work in the community each quarter. In return they can expect to have a lot of fun and satisfaction.”