Commissioner to play host to young cadets for national ‘Take-Over’ day

Young volunteer police cadets were today (Friday, November 21) given a taste of life as a key decision maker when they took over responsibility for policing for a day.

The 12 youngsters, who are aged between 14 and 16, were invited to ‘take over’ Cambridgeshire Constabulary and the Office of Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright as part of the Children’s Commissioner Take Over Day 2014.

The annual initiative, led by the Children’s Commissioner for England, is designed to give young people across the UK an opportunity to experience the world of work and play a role in important decision-making processes. Its wider objectives are to strengthen the voice of young people in politics and decision-making and help them to make a difference.

Commenting on the event, Sir Graham said: “Young people can bring considerable value to decision-making processes in policing and any other sector. As employers and leaders we need to harness this enthusiasm and clarity of vision for the benefit of the wider community.

“The Take Over Day encourages organisations to take time to listen to young people and celebrate the positive contribution they can make to communities and society as a whole. By giving young people a stronger voice we will be able to make better decisions about services which directly affect them.”

During the day, the volunteer police cadets took part in mock daily management meetings where they were asked to choose a local neighbourhood concern. They then presented a case for action to Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hopkins who helped them decide which problem to prioritise. The volunteer police cadets then prepared a briefing for the local police team who will have one month to tackle the problem and report back.  The issue they decided to prioritise was drugs use in and around schools.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hopkins commented: “I’m delighted the Force was able play a part in Take Over day and I enjoyed listening to the ideas and views of the young people working with us.

“Young people need to feel that their opinions and suggestions are taken seriously and can impact on public life and what better way to do this than by inviting them to experience and contribute to decision-making at its highest level.”

In view of this, the volunteer police cadets also took part in a workshop event in the afternoon to help the Force work through some of the recommendations from the All Party Parliamentary Review concerning young people. The workshop focussed on stop and search tactics, engagement and marketing to young people and how young people can influence policing training.

Fourteen year old Volunteer Police Cadet, Daniel Flack, said: ”This was a new experience for all of us. It was great being listened to and involved in making decisions about how to tackle crime from the point of view of young people. We were able to discuss with the police our views on important issues such as how to tackle drug use in young people.”

Finally the Cadets discussed what they had learned during the day and their views on policing with Sir Graham.  The day concluded with the presentation of certificates.

Ends

For more information on the event visit http://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/takeover_day

 

 


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