05 Mar 2018

A GROUP of Carmarthenshire teenagers have proven they have the dedication, hard work and enthusiasm needed to pass out as volunteer police cadets.

Ten students from Ysgol Dyffryn Aman officially joined the police family on Wednesday, February 28, receiving their navy police cadet berets from the Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police.

The cadets started their training at the age of 15 in September 2017, and since then have been involved with voluntary and community work in and around Ammanford. They have learned vital skills including first aid, communication, problem-solving and leadership, which they will further develop through their training with the force.

At a formal passing out parade at police headquarters, the cadets were inspected by Chief Constable Mark Collins, before reciting the cadets’ oath.

Addressing the cadets, leaders and their families, Mr Collins said: “I am very proud to see this group of volunteer police cadets join the police family this evening. We hope to see you develop and grow within your roles, and I look forward to seeing your names on applications for the Special Constabulary, PCs and PCSOs in the coming years.

“The volunteer police cadet scheme offers so much benefit for young people – especially for those who might have been at risk of choosing the wrong path in life – and I’m sure you have gained a huge number of life skills so far.

“By volunteering your time to the scheme, you will not only make a difference to your own lives, but to the community you live in.”

The 2017 intake of cadets took part in the Ammanford Remembrance Day parade, helped some of the most vulnerable in their community during the Dyfed-Powys Police Christmas campaign, Operation Santa, and have had inputs from various sections of the force. They will also have the opportunity to put their fitness and determination to the test by taking part in Duke of Edinburgh expeditions.

Although becoming a cadet does not guarantee a career within the police, it gives young people hoping to apply a unique insight into the world of policing.

Sergeant Kerry Scoberg, of Ammanford Police Station, said: “Our aim is that they stay within the police family. One of our original members has finished her time with the cadets and has become a leader – she is now applying to become a Special Constable.

“Cadets know the local issues, and very much form part of the decision-making of what we deal with within the community, and are a conduit to making people feel safe in the community.”

Cadet Ffion Jenkins, who was part of Dyfed-Powys Police’s first cadet intake in 2015, was chosen to be the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet for Carmarthenshire, which gives her the opportunity to accompany the Lord Lieutenant on official duties. She met HRH Prince Charles during his summer tour of Wales last July, and has encouraged anyone thinking of joining to apply.

VPC Ffion said: “Being a cadet is something I’ve really enjoyed. I’ve learned a lot of skills – communication skills, team building skills, and as the Lord Lieutenant’s cadet I’ve had a variety of different experiences. I was lucky enough to meet the Prince of Wales, and have learned how to conduct myself and how to be professional.

“I’ve gained a lot from being a cadet. We’ve seen lots of different aspects of policing, which you wouldn’t normally get to learn about. I’d definitely encourage people to apply. We do so much work with the community and you just feel part of something. We are a family.”

The force is currently recruiting for the next intake of cadets, who will start in September 2018. Cadets must be 15 years old, and although they do not need to be from Ammanford, they must be able to travel to the town for weekly meetings.

Adult cadet leaders are also needed. If you believe you could help to lead the group, please contact PC Huw Freeman on huw.freeman@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk.