Kent Police’s Mini Police Cadet Programme was launched in April 2021 and pupils in Dartford were the first to take part in the scheme aimed at educating young people on a variety of policing topics and involving them in team-building exercises and community projects in their local area.
On Tuesday 28 September, pupils at The Downs CE Primary School in Deal started their educational journey as mini cadets, led by Police Community Support Officer Anita Pollard.
Three more schools, Priory Fields School, Vale View Primary and St Martin’s School, which are all in Dover, started the course, run by PCSO Mark Ball, in the week beginning Monday 4 October.
Youngsters aged between eight and 11 donned tabards and baseball caps and were welcomed to the programme. They talked about codes of conduct, the importance of working together as a team and having respect for one another.
PCSO Anita Pollard said: ‘The children were so excited to be involved in this and were able to get to know me as a person, not just as an officer, which is something that young people can find intimidating.
‘They hopefully found this reassuring and will have the confidence to talk to me when they see me out and about in their neighbourhood in future.
‘I will be running the sessions with the children every Tuesday for an hour and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how they progress. I will be educating them on crime and anti-social behaviour, talking to them about policing, for example why we carry pocket books, the drills we undertake, officer ranks, codes of conduct, first aid, cyber bullying and much more.
‘They will get the chance to visit a police station and I will also be ensuring they all know how and when to contact the emergency services and encouraging them to have open discussions about what is right and what is wrong.
‘I hope that by the end of the course they will have a much better understanding of the police, will understand leadership, teamwork and may consider policing as a career when they are older.’
The Mini Police Cadet programme has been made available thanks to funding from the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott. From October more children will be offered this opportunity at other schools across the county.
In addition to the mini cadets initiative, Kent Police also runs a cadets programme for young people aged 13 to 17. Volunteers involved in the scheme meet once a week and participate in a number of community initiatives across the year.
For more information, visit: https://www.kent.police.uk/police-forces/kent-police/areas/kent-police/c/specials-and-volunteers/cadets/