The first group of Dyfed-Powys Police cadets have gone out with a bang, completing their bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. The force began a two-year pilot cadet scheme in 2015, when the first cohort of 14 and 15-year-olds signed up to become volunteers to help their communities and gain an understanding of policing. As they prepare for the end of the two years, they have shown determination, dedication and physical and mental strength as they took part in Duke of Edinburgh bronze and silver expeditions.
The group of teenagers was made up of representatives from the force’s four divisions – Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys – who came together for the two night trip.
Inspector Kathryn Griffiths, of the Community Support Team, said: “This is a fantastic achievement by all the cadets who passed their bronze and silver expeditions, supported by their cadet leaders and assistants.
“It is a really positive end to their two years on the cadet programme with Dyfed-Powys Police, and the Duke of Edinburgh is definitely something we would like to continue. They achieved so much, both personally and as a team.”
The cadets were required to carry their full kit on a 10-mile hike through the Brecon Beacons, before setting up camp for the night and completing a further trek the following day to meet the DofE criteria.
Inspector Griffiths was one of the officers who accompanied the group on their final expedition, as well as a practice trek the week before. She said: “It was nice to see how they enjoyed over the two weekends. They were working as a team, and really came together.
“Three of our officers – PC Tom Draycott, Sergeant Suzanne Lloyd and Sergeant Jane Mortley also came away from the expedition as qualified DofE assessors, which is a great asset for future cadet cohorts.”
The National Volunteer Police Cadets is supported by the Association of Chief Officers and is undertaken by the majority of police services across the UK. The scheme was launched in Dyfed-Powys in 2015. The cadets meet every week and take part in local community initiatives and police campaigns. The scheme aims to develop an understanding of the police amongst young people, to encourage good citizenship and inspire young people to participate positively in their communities and support local policing priorities.
Inspector Griffiths said: “The scheme has proven to be very successful, and has been a huge benefit to the young people involved. “There has been a lot of positivity and engagement from them – they’ve been volunteering, working with us at the major shows over the summers, and have really taken a lot away from the programme.
“This group started with us when they were 14, and will finish now that they’re 16, but we are looking at extending it to 18 years of age so the older ones can stay on and help. It will be like a peer mentoring aspect.”