Nailsea and Backwell school students join police cadets
By Carol_Deacon | Saturday, November 17, 2012, 10:23
The first police cadets to be seen in North Somerset for almost 30 years will don their uniforms for the first time on Thursday November 22.
Sixteen boys and 14 girls aged between 14 and 17 from across North Somerset have joined a new unit of the Avon and Somerset Volunteer Police Cadets.
The young people come from Axbridge, Cheddar, Clevedon, Congresbury, Elborough, Hutton, Langford, Lympsham, Nailsea, Portishead, Shipham, Weston-super-Mare, Winscombe, Wrington and Yatton.
And they attend Backwell School, Broadoak Community School, Churchill Academy, Clevedon Community School, Gordano School, Hans Price Academy, Nailsea School, Priory Community School, Worle Community School and Kings of Wessex Academy, Cheddar.
The unit, run by police officers, staff and volunteers in their spare time, is part of our commitment to engaging with young people and offering teenagers the chance to make a difference in their communities.
The Avon and Somerset Volunteer Police Cadet scheme has been running as a pilot for the past year in South Gloucestershire, where 29 cadets are learning about all aspects of policing.
Almost all the young people in the pilot - 96 per cent - said they would recommend it to family and friends.
The new unit, based at Churchill Academy, will meet each Thursday night during term time. After initial training the cadets will get involved with helping their communities.
In the first six months of the pilot scheme, cadets spent 137 hours on public duties, including:
handing out personal and property safety information to young people at shopping centres;
carrying out 'vulnerable vehicle' surveys in car parks; and
delivering crime prevention advice and information on police operations.
Some of the older cadets also volunteer with neighbourhood teams, accompanying PCSOs on foot patrols, helping to carry out house-to-house enquiries and joining Community Speed Watch volunteers monitoring speeds on local roads.
PC Ray Bradley QPM is leading the new unit. He said: "We know young people get a bad press and this is unfair – most are like these volunteer cadets, keen to take on new challenges and give something back to society.
"Not all of them are planning for a career with the police service, but they will all be making a valuable contribution to their communities while having fun through a range of activities and developing skills for the future."
The Avon and Somerset Volunteer Police Cadet scheme is run by police officers, Special Constables, police staff and Police Support Volunteers in their spare time with costs met through grants, donations and sponsorship.
Support for the cadets came from Blagdon, Burrington, Churchill and Winford parish councils, local farmers Alvis Bros, Budgens, John Lewis, the Lions Club of Weston-super-Mare, the police asset recovery scheme, Yeo Valley Farms and builder Dave Avery.