Cadet course with local PCSOs at Bansole Primary School Photo: Kent Police

Young children at a school in Gillingham have started to learn about policing as they embark on a nine-week cadet course with local PCSOs.

Kent Police’s Mini Cadet Programme was launched in Dartford in April 2021 and since then children across the county have taken part in the scheme, which is designed to educate young people on a variety of policing topics. During the course they also take part in team-building exercises and community projects.

On Tuesday 16 April 2024 students from Bansole Primary School in Gillingham started their educational journey as mini cadets, led by Police Community Support Officer Aimmie Birch and Rowan Cornwall. Both officers work within the Child Centred Policing Team at Medway Police Station.

Youngsters aged between eight and 11 donned tabards and baseball caps and were welcomed to the programme. They talked about codes of conduct, the importance of working together as a team and having respect for one another.

PCSO Birch said:

‘These children were so excited to start their mini cadet journey.

‘We will be running hour-long sessions with the children every Tuesday over the course of this term and will be educating them about crime and anti-social behaviour, talking to them about policing and much more.

‘We will also talk about officer ranks, codes of conduct, first aid, cyber bullying and much more.

‘During the course the children will visit Medway Police Station and we will also be ensuring they all know how and when to contact the emergency services and we will be encouraging them to have open discussions about what is right and what is wrong.

‘I hope that by the end of the course they will have a much better understanding of the police, will understand leadership, teamwork and may consider policing as a career when they are older.’

In addition to the mini cadets initiative, Kent Police also runs a cadets programme for young people aged 13 to 17. Volunteers involved in the scheme meet once a week and participate in a number of community initiatives across the year.

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By Ed

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