Police cadet scheme coming to Weymouth school

Police cadet scheme coming to Weymouth school

Published by The Wessex FM News Team at 7:30am 6th October 2019.

Budmouth Academy will benefit from the national Volunteer Police Cadet scheme for young people.

The scheme aims to encourage good citizenship in young people by offering an opportunity to engage with local police and support the communities in which they live.

Budmouth College

Dorset's Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill explained why he chose Budmouth:

"I know there is a demand in West Dorset and I have been looking at Budmouth, which is an area of high deprivation.

"My hope and aspiration is to take it out across the county, although they aren't easy to set up for 40 to 50 kids at a time."

The scheme is open to young people from all backgrounds, including those who may be most vulnerable to the influences of crime and social exclusion.

A report to councillors at this week's Police and Crime Panel said:

"VPC schemes can provide Forces with an opportunity to provide key crime prevention advice to young people, as well as the potential to positively influence behaviour. 

"Dorset Police was the only remaining Force in England and Wales without a cadet scheme".

police women

Successful pilot

The Dorset scheme was launched a year ago with the backing of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable. 

Start-up funding to launch it came from the national VPC team with the project run by a local adult volunteers. 

The scheme has been piloted at the Bourne Academy in Bournemouth and now has two units up and running successfully.

Mr Underhill said:

"It's very exciting and the feedback has been absolutely stunning - it's really made a difference."

He added that he chose to start the scheme here because of the range of social issues the area has.

High demand

It was intended to launch the scheme with a unit of around 30 young people, however twice that number applied within the first few weeks and the decision was taken to immediately start a second unit.

The two units in Bournemouth were formally handed over to the Dorset Police Force on 2nd September, with a Cadet Co-ordinator now in place within the Citizens in Policing team.

By Trevor Bevins, local democracy reporter