Suffolk Police Cadets from across the county gathered in Woodbridge on Sunday, January 27, for their first annual parade where new flags and standards were officially dedicated and young people were recognised for their achievements.
Guests including Suffolk Constabulary Chief Constable Simon Ash and Deputy Chief Paul Marshall, Police & Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, High Sheriff Andrew Norman-Butler, Suffolk Coastal MP Theresa Coffey, the Mayors of Ipswich, St Edmundsbury and Felixstowe and councillors from across the county were at the event, which celebrated the first year of the newly-launched cadet scheme.
A number of cadets received certificates of merit for their progress and efforts over the past 12 months from the Chief Constable and the ‘Cadet of the Year’ trophy – known as the Gerald Johnson Memorial Trophy in memory of Suffolk Constabulary police constable Gerald Johnson who lost his fight against cancer in September 2011 – was presented to Senior Cadet Luke Hall, from the Martlesham Unit, by the High Sheriff and Jeanette Johnson, widow of PC Johnson.
The cadet scheme was introduced in October 2011 at Martlesham and has now been rolled out to Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft.
Each unit is made up of 25 young people aged from 13 to 18 with cadets learning about the basics of policing and taking part in a number of community based initiatives and activities. Highlights of the year that were celebrated included travelling down to help at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee river pageant in London and undertaking crime reduction work with Safer Neighbourhood Teams across the county.
The scheme was introduced to build bridges and establish relationships with young people, and put their enthusiasm to a positive use in local communities, while giving young volunteers from all backgrounds the chance to develop skills and make new friends.
In addition to those who already aspire to join the police, a quarter of places on the scheme are available to young people who are deemed to be at risk of offending, with the aim of encouraging good citizenship and assisting with making positive life choices.
Inspector Steve Gallant, Cadet Liaison Manager for the Constabulary, said; “The parade was the first time that all our cadets, their parents/guardians and supporters from across the county have had the opportunity to come together to celebrate what they have achieved so far. Seeing them all together for the first time was a proud moment for all concerned. With so much bad publicity about the youth of today it was refreshing to see so many young people coming together to celebrate some really positive community involvement.”
The parade was held at Woodbridge School, in Burkitt Road, on Sunday afternoon.
More information on the Volunteer Cadet Scheme can be found on our website at www.suffolk.police.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org .