A NEW scheme aimed at volunteers wanting to help their community is due to be launched in Hampshire.

The Volunteer Police Cadets Scheme is aimed at youngsters aged between 13-18 to promote a practical understanding of policing as well as good citizenship.

The scheme will initially be launched at Cantell School and Redbridge School in Southampton with the aim of rolling it out to other locations across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in September.

Force Volunteer Police Cadet leader, PC Stephen Swift, said: “Our aim is to inspire young people to positively participate in their local communities and to give them a voice within the police and the opportunity to get involved in a really positive way.

“It is important to understand that the volunteer cadets will have no policing powers, they are not special constables and will not be used in any such capacity. But they will be a very important part of the Hampshire Constabulary extended police family working within the community, tackling local issues.

“After an initial ten week induction programme, all cadets will be required to complete a minimum of three hours volunteering per month by assisting with local policing and community events.

“The scheme will offer a wide range of opportunities for those applying, from learning leadership skills that will benefit them throughout their future working life, to gaining qualifications such as Duke of Edinburgh Awards and first aid training.

“We will also offer nationally accredited learning, and we’ll work through policing scenarios to help them think laterally about problem solving and provide them with a better understanding of how we work.”

Any young person interested should send an e-mail to Volunteer.police.cadets@hampshire.pnn.police.uk.

Anyone applying to become a cadet will be invited to an open evening along with their parents or guardians.