An Action-Parked Summer For Merton's Volunteer Police Cadets

Local young people are busy over their break

Merton Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC) recently went up against VPCs from across London at this summer's Cadet Competiton, held over three days at the police Public Order Training Centre in Kent.

Four hundred young people, aged 13-18, in 32 teams competed in a series of real life police training scenarios and activities.

The Merton Cadets, who had been preparing for the event for months, were challenged to perform in a range of policing scenarios, including dealing with a road traffic accident, chemical incident, firearms incident, crime and evidence gathering scenes, a timed shield run and drill square.

On the final day, the Cadets were inspected by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and other guests, who praised the thousands of hours of local volunteering and operational support provided by the VPCs.

Merton's Head Cadet Chris Watkins, aged 17, said: "This was hard work but a brilliant experience, and I'm really proud of our team coming 18th out of 32, our best result ever!"

PC Tim Mann, Merton Youth Engagement PC, said: "Our amazing Cadets from 32 boroughs show just how brilliant London's young people are, with huge energy and positive commitment. These outstanding teenagers come from all sorts or backgrounds and situations, with the same passion and determination to succeed and achieve."

And on Monday August 3, Merton's Volunteer Police Cadets and 700 other VPCs from across London joined Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and Mayor of London Boris Johnson to celebrate a record number of youngsters participating in the VPC programme.

The Mayor and Commissioner praised the increasingly important role of young  people in the capital, as the number of 10-18 year old Volunteer Police Cadets reaches a record high of almost 4,000.

Commissioner Hogan-Howe, said: "I am proud that so many young people want to be a part of our Volunteer Police Cadets scheme. They are an important part of our police family, and help us police London better every day. Cadets get involved in lots of important, interesting and enjoyable activities - from helping out at high-profile events like Trooping the Colour to supporting local police in preventing crime.

"In return, cadets gain valuable skills which will shape their futures for the better. We want more young Londoners getting involved in this excellent programme which gives back as much as they put in, and more."

Last year, London’s young police Cadets gave almost 200,000 hours of their time to assist their communities in a variety of ways including stewarding at major events such as the London Marathon and Remembrance Day and helping local Safer Neighbourhoods Teams with street surveys and leaflet distribution. It’s not about joining the police, but it is about young people making a positive difference and exploring new opportunities!

Merton Staff Volunteer Robin Hong (also an ex-Cadet) said: "I am very proud to be here in Trafalgar Square with our Merton Cadets and VPC colleagues from all over London. They are very smart on parade and are brilliant ambassadors both for the police service and young Londoners!".

August 20, 2015

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Team Merton and friends

On parade in Trafalgar Square