Friday 26th May
I was able to snatch a sandwich at home before setting out again for Withington Primary School for the Passing Out Parade of Young Police Cadets. This was a fascinating experience: the result of the County’s first Young Cadet Scheme involving Year Six pupils aged 10/11 who are in their last year of primary school.
In a four-week course, fitted into their school commitments, the Young Cadets learned how to use the police notebook and radio procedure; saw how an emergency call is received and acted upon (and they were allowed to apprehend a “suspect”, followed by a ride in a Police van!); were taught about forensic techniques and fingerprinting; and, to complete the course, took part in a mock trial which showed them how the gathering of evidence fits into the judicial process.
My warm congratulations go to West Mercia Police for taking this initiative, and especially to Sergeant Duncan Reynolds and PC Chris Lea, the Youth Engagement Officer. The experience that these young people have had will be invaluable in letting them see the Police as trusted guides and advisers, rather than in the negative way that can so easily arise in some of our communities. I am looking forward very much to seeing this splendid initiative involving other young people in the County.
It was a great pleasure to be able to present certificates to some of those involved, and I very much hope that this experience will be a positive and formative one as they move through their education and into the world of work.
Friday 26th May