A group of crime-fighting youngsters have been recruited as the latest cadets to join Durham Constabulary as part of a brand new scheme.
Aged between 11 and 13, the group are the first recruits to join the Junior Police Cadet Volunteer Scheme- a new scheme piloted in County Durham and Darlington.
In the past many police forces only took cadet volunteers aged between 14 and 18, but Durham is now one of the first forces in the country to recruit volunteers aged between 11 and 13 years old to become a part of the Junior Police Cadet Volunteer Scheme.
The Junior Cadets have now bridged the gap between the Mini Police and the Intermediates, which enables children to stay on as a volunteer from nine to 18.
The introduction of the Junior Cadets comes after the successful Mini Police programme introduced by the force.
The Mini Police gives the youngsters a fun and interactive experience helping the police and participating in community events.
The aim of the scheme is to inspire young people to participate positively in their communities and improve the perception of young people across County Durham and Darlington.
The cadets are run by the Durham Agency Against Crime (DAAC) and funded by the Police, Crime and Commissioner (PCVC) for County Durham and Darlington.
Bryan Russell, manager of DAAC, said: “This a great addition to the schemes we already run.
“Now there is a clear progression for young people who want to get involved with the police, gain invaluable experiences and support their local communities at the same time.”
Ron Hogg, Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner for County Durham and Darlington said: “I am very pleased to support the introduction of the Junior Cadets scheme.
“It is now possible for young people to get involved in policing from the ages of 9 to 18, starting with the Mini Police and then with the junior and senior cadets.
“Many of today’s police officers learnt about the constabulary by being cadets in the first place, making good friends and having fun."