Launch of police cadet scheme for teenagers in Bolton

The Bolton News: The cadets scheme will involve young people volunteering alongside police in the community The cadets scheme will involve young people volunteering alongside police in the community

A NEW police cadets scheme has been launched for teenagers in Bolton.

The cadets scheme will involve young people volunteering alongside police in the community.

Bolton launched the initiative at the start of December, with 27 boys and girls aged between 13 and 17 involved.

Ten leaders including police sergeants, police officers, special constables and a police community support officer together with community volunteers run the scheme in their own time.

Sgt Mike Jennings-Wharton, the co-ordinator for the Bolton group, was keen to get involved after being inspired to join the police force after being a cadet when he was a boy.

Sgt Jennings-Wharton said: “I had always considered a career in the police, and it was seeing police officers doing their job that made me later join the police specials and then join the police.

“When I was a cadet it changed my goals in life. I wanted to get involved with the Bolton cadet scheme as it’s about giving young people the chance that I got at that age.

“The cadet scheme is inspirational. It’s going to benefit a lot of kids and it’s reaching out to communities.

“These youngsters are going to learn a lot from others and be inspired by people they meet.”

He said he has already seen confidence grow in some of the cadets.

Cadets must complete an eight-week probationary period before being fully accepted into the “police family” where they will take part in a passing out parade.

The group meet once a week at Bolton College — some of the cadets are on public services courses.

Their work will include raising funds for charities, speaking to residents, carrying out questionnaires in the community for the police, doing drills, learning about the work of the police, including visiting the mounted unit, and being educated about gangs and drugs.

People will also be given the opportunity to complete the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, which involves volunteering in the community, doing a physical activity over a period of time, learning a skill and carrying out an expedition.

Bolton’s cadet group is one of 12 schemes launched in 2013. About 250 cadets are now involved.

Sgt Jane Butler, responsible for GMP’s cadet schemes, said: “It has been an exciting year and we have been able to work with more young people than we had expected. The cadets have been able to get involved in a host of different things and have gathered a lot of experience as a result of their commitment and hard work. “We hope that we can build on this and develop more schemes in the coming year.”

The cadets’ experience is expected to help them benefit in whatever paths they choose in the future. For more details about the GMP cadet schemes contact Sgt Jane Butler via volunteerpolicecadets @gmp.police.uk.

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