AT THE START of this month, the Metropolitan Police Service launched this year’s round of an annual initiative which gives Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC) the chance to work alongside Metropolitan Police staff.
The programme gives 26 cadets, aged between 15 and 18, the chance to work with police staff and officers over the course of a day and be involved in their decision-making processes. With so many cadets applying to take part, the scheme has evolved and now lasts for a month, giving more youngsters the chance to be involved.
The successful cadets will be given the chance to shadow senior officers at New Scotland Yard and – for the first time – an opportunity to join staff from the Met’s Mounted Branch, Marine Unit, Territorial Support Group (TSG) and the Dog Support Unit.
During their time with their allocated officers the cadets will get the chance to make their voices heard and give a fresh perspective on the way the officers think and work. This interaction continues to help break down any barriers that may exist between the generations and encourages children and young people to become involved in future policing and community activities.
Around 40 cadets applied to take part in the initiative and each took part in a rigorous selection process. All 26 placements have been filled, on the basis of the candidates’ interests and skills.
One lucky cadet, 15-year-old Jessica Hoyes from Merton, will be posted to work alongside Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick. Jessica said, “I am relatively new to the VPC and I’m loving every minute of it. I’m amazed at the variety of activities on offer and it doesn’t get better than Voice of Youth and the chance to spend the day with The Commissioner. It’s an amazing privilege, so I’m really looking forward to it and to sharing what I learn with my fellow cadets.”
Later this month Matthew Miller from Bexley, aged 15, will be spending a day with Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt. He will be introduced to a day in the life of a senior officer. Matthew will start his day at New Scotland Yard and later in the day he will attend the Problem Orientated Policing awards in Earls Court.
Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt said, “I am delighted we are running the Voice of Youth programme for the second year… Talking to these young people is always enlightening, and their fresh ideas can help with our ongoing ambition to keep London as safe as we possibly can. Equally, our cadets are the future so we are pleased to have this chance to give them a personal experience of all aspects of the Met.”
•If you are aged between 10 and 24 and are interested in signing up, go to:
•The MPS also crucially needs more adult volunteers to become Cadet Leaders so that more groups of Cadets and Junior Cadets can be formed across the city. If you are interested in joining please go to:
•Follow The Voice of Youth Programme on Twitter via #YouthCan or @MPSCadets.