The original Cadet scheme, for 14 to 17-year-olds, was initiated in 2013 by Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis to strengthen links between police and young people and promote good citizenship. Successful units are already up and running in Cannock, Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent with more soon to follow.
The programme has now expanded with junior Cadet schemes being launched in primary schools for eight to ten-year-olds across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
Groups of around ten children take part in six one-hour sessions, led by a local Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) during school time, covering areas including good behaviour, road safety, school security, police investigations and anti-social behaviour. At the end of each course, junior Cadets receive certificates at the graduation ceremony.
They also get their own pocket books to fill in during sessions along with a Junior Police Cadet baseball cap and t-shirt for completing the course.
The scheme is being run at no cost to the children or their schools with all expenses met by the Staffordshire Commissioner’s Corporate Social Responsibility Fund, a registered charity which is funded by donations from businesses and individuals.
Mr Ellis said: “It’s fantastic that primary school children are now becoming junior Cadets and taking part in a fun-packed programme which teaches them how to become responsible citizens.
“PCSOs already play a crucial role in local schools and giving them responsibility for the junior Cadets will only strengthen these relationships further.
“We’re working with the force to meet our aim of having at least one junior Cadet scheme in every local policing area so that as many children can benefit as possible.”
If you are interested in finding out more about the Junior Cadets, including details on which schools are currently involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org