Police cadet scheme all go as duo use pedal force to spread word

(l-r) Steve Keenor and PC Steve Smith raising awareness for the Hampshire Constabulary Volunteer Police Cadets. Picture: Paul Jacobs (142672-3)
(l-r) Steve Keenor and PC Steve Smith raising awareness for the Hampshire Constabulary Volunteer Police Cadets. Picture: Paul Jacobs (142672-3)
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TWO police workers have cycled and run an impressive 137 miles to highlight a new cadet scheme.

PC Steve Swift and police staff member Steve Keenor took on the challenge over the weekend to help recruit more youth volunteers across Hampshire.

The pair started from the Isle of Wight on Saturday morning before hitching a lift with the Hampshire police marine unit to Gosport.

PC Swift said: ‘The biggest reason we wanted to put the event on here was so members of the public are aware we’ve launched the scheme.

‘We’ve got 15 applications already – we want 45 cadets.

‘We want to encourage people in the local area.

‘Any young person from 13 to 17 can apply.’

Their challenge linked up seven new Volunteer Police Cadet units – including two in Paulsgrove and Gosport.

From there they ran to Bay House School, in Gomer Lane, before cycling to King Richard School in Allaway Avenue, Paulsgrove, Portsmouth. PC Swift, who came up with the challenge, added that the trek from Ryde, Isle of Wight to Paulsgrove was the easy part of the route, which ended at Cantell School, Southampton.

Mr Keenor added: ‘We just took it very easy to Paulsgrove.

‘Steve came up with the idea to ride around them. I said “no problem, I’d do it”.’

Police were waiting at both schools in Gosport and Paulsgrove holding community events.

Youngsters were able to sit inside a police car, try on riot gear and find out more about the police.

Daniel Robinson, 15, from Manor Way in Southbourne, had already signed up to be a volunteer police cadet and hopes to become a police officer in the years to come.

He said: ‘I just really wanted to a be a police officer.

‘When I hear about it I thought I’d come down.’

Cadets will go to a weekly two-hour session hosted at the schools and must volunteer for a minimum of three hours a month.

Those already on the scheme have volunteered more than 1,200 hours over the past five weeks.

Chief Inspector Gavin McMillan is overseeing the scheme.

He said the organisation is also looking for adult volunteers to help out.