THE police force is now stronger following the swearing-in of 15 new junior volunteer cadets.
The cadets, aged 13 to 17, were sworn into the force in an attestation ceremony at Park Community School in Leigh Park.
I’ve made some really great friends and experienced a lotTegan Holgate
After the cadets took an oath, they were given certificates of achievement and Portsmouth City band played in their honour.
Sergeant Matthew Gooding, volunteer police cadet force leader, said the ceremony followed a 10-week induction programme.
Sgt Gooding said: ‘They’ve been learning personal safety skills, first-aid with St John’s Ambulance, team building and communication skills.
‘We’re incredibly proud of everything they’ve achieved.’
The scheme is run at Park Community School and King Richard School in Paulsgrove.
Sgt Gooding said the cadets would now volunteer at events in the community.
He said: ‘The scheme is all about bridging the gap between young people and the police force, and giving young people a voice in the police.’
One of the cadets, Lauryn Bailey, 16, from Havant, said she had enjoyed the programme so far.
Lauryn said: ‘It’s been fantastic. We’ve already learned so many communication skills. I’m really looking forward to using that in the community.’
Another cadet, Tegan Holgate, 13, from Havant, said: ‘I’ve made some really great friends and experienced a lot.
‘We had a forensic scientist come in and he taught us how to do fingerprints.
‘I want to do forensic science in college.’
Cadet Angel Kerr, 17, from Paulsgrove, said: ‘I’ve grown more confident, and now I know the types of things police go through I have an insight into what they do.’
The volunteer police cadet scheme started in April 2014 and there are now more than 300 cadets across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Sgt Gooding said anyone who wanted more information about becoming a volunteer cadet could e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.