YOUNG crime fighters are being sought by Sunderland police which has launched a recruitment drive for its cadet force.
Teenagers aged 14 and 15 can join the four-year scheme which give them the opportunity to take part in a range of activities.
Alex Pearson, 17 joined two years ago and has since achieved a number of awards as part of her training with Northumbria Police.
The St Anthony’s Girls’ School pupil, from Seaburn, said: “I joined the volunteer police cadets in 2012, since then I have achieved Duke of Edinburgh bronze and silver awards and am about to start assistant cadet leader training.
“Being a police cadet has allowed me to help the communities of Sunderland through supporting neighbourhood policing teams at supermarkets and helping to raise awareness amongst the public about the importance of crime prevention.
“Recently I also worked alongside community support officers in Sunderland to promote good community relations with the public and increase confidence among young people. I have also enjoyed supporting Northumbria Police at the Sunderland Airshow and Sunderland Remembrance Sunday Parade in 2013. As a cadet I have also assisted with test purchasing and underage sales initiatives with the local authority.” Sunderland Area Commander, Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth praised the scheme, saying cadets provide invaluable support to policing.
“The cadet scheme gives young people the opportunity to gain new skills and experience giving them the chance to develop and learn things that will undoubtedly help with their future careers - whether they want to pursue policing or choose a different route,” she said.
“Cadets get to see what it is like to be a police officer and police and community support officer and be involved in the work police officers do. Some of the activities they become involved can include offering crime prevention advice to help stop people from becoming a victim of crime, carrying out surveys to find out what it is that concerns our communities the most or being involved in test purchasing initiatives to help tackle underage drinking.
“People on the scheme also work towards the Duke of Edinburgh award, learn about first aid and take part in team building activities. Our cadets are an absolute credit to the force and the work they do is invaluable.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird added: “This scheme is tremendous for helping to give young people skills which will stay with them throughout life. Not only that but they provide the force with invaluable support and assistance, helping to make a difference in others’ lives.”
To find out more, visit the Working for Us section of the Northumbria Police website at www.northumbria.police.uk