Force welcomes police cadets to brand new programme
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Leicestershire Police will today (5 October) welcome more than 150 young people to the force as Volunteer Police Cadets.
The force is holding a virtual enrolment event this evening where Chief Constable Simon Cole will formally welcome the new recruits to Leicestershire Police.
Mr Cole said: “Signing up to our Volunteer Police Cadet programme is a brilliant way for young people to begin their policing journey. We offer our police cadets a truly unique insight into policing, and provide them with training and development which will equip them to become leaders of the future, either in a career with Leicestershire Police or elsewhere.
“I’m really looking forward to welcoming our new recruits to the force this evening, albeit virtually, and hope that they will enjoy their time with us, making the most of every opportunity.”
Police Cadets are young people between the ages of 13 and 17 with a keen interest in policing. They choose to dedicate time and energy to learning new skills and knowledge and volunteer within their communities. Our programme aims to promote a practical understanding of policing and teach young people to be good citizens.
Volunteer Police Cadet leaders from across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland spent the summer reviewing and developing the previous curriculum into a dynamic programme, which better suits the needs of Leicestershire Police Cadets.
Cadets will now be able to take part in virtual lessons and follow a specially designed curriculum, with an additional programme for older Cadets offering academic credits, both of which have been developed by Jim Holyoak, a former Police Superintendent with nearly 35 years’ experience in policing. Jim currently works as a Senior Lecturer at Staffordshire University and volunteers his time to lead the Market Harborough Cadet Unit.
He says he is only too pleased to share his knowledge and expertise with the police cadets, adding: “Our new curriculum is designed to give cadets an understanding of the knowledge, skills and behaviours necessary for a career in the public services, and especially policing. We’ll be developing leadership skills, understanding equality and diversity and developing fitness and skills for outdoor and adventurous activities.”
Jim added: “We want to support young people to make decisions about their future careers, and help them wherever we can. We’re all eager to get cadet sessions back up-and-running so we’ve planned all sessions to take place online for the time being, as this is the safest option for now.”
In usual circumstances, Leicestershire Police Cadets are encouraged to get involved with their local police teams and carry out social action volunteering in their communities. Due to coronavirus and the social distancing guidelines set out by the government, this has been put on hold and the programme will be delivered virtually.
Superintendent Adam Slonecki, the force’s lead for Volunteers in Policing, is also looking forward to welcoming the new recruits this evening. He said: “Throughout the COVID period our cadets have not only contributed to helping keep their communities safe, but have also had some fantastic results in terms of exam success at both GCSE and A-Level and continuing to progress towards their Duke of Edinburgh Awards as well.
Supt Slonecki says that despite the restriction that COVID-19 has posed to our Police Cadet programme, the force now has a really exciting and interesting programme of engagement for its’ cadets, and there are some really exciting opportunities planned for this academic year.
He added: “I’d like to thank the leadership and support of our Cadet Coordinator Leanne Benford, PC Matt Burton, Cadet Leader Jim Holyoak and Sgt Jo Harland for their immense effort in putting this together in quite challenging circumstances.”
The new cadets will be issued with their own uniform, a police cadet pocket notebook and a welcome pack, and will be placed into one of our eight units based across the county. New cadets are also being given the opportunity to enrol on our Duke of Edinburgh programme.
Recruitment for Leicestershire Police Cadets is currently closed and will open in March 2021. Anyone interested in becoming a Cadet Leader is encouraged to visit leics.police.uk/couldyou or email the team at [email protected].