The Treasure Seeker Police Cadets – working with the Gloucestershire Constabulary – have been announced as finalists in the Police Crime Prevention Initiatives category of the World Class Policing Awards to be held in November.
The ground-breaking initiative, started in November 2018, sees 15 adults with learning disabilities welcomed into the force as community police cadets. Working alongside members of the Special Constabulary, they take part in a wide variety of police activities, including conducting speeding operations and public awareness campaigns.
We first encountered the cadets as they appeared in a feature on Crimewatch Roadshow Live. We saw them in action raising awareness of car crime, handing out smart pens and operating speed guns on traffic. It is clear from the short feature just how big an impact the cadets are having on their community and how big an impact the role is having on the cadets themselves.
In speaking to the Gloucestershire Constabulary website, cadet Richard said, “I joined the police cadets to get more experience and when I was told that I had been offered a place I felt that I now had something to be proud of”. Carl, who was one of the first cadets to join the scheme, said, “I’m learning to help other people, I give them advice and now I’m looking forward to making a difference”.
But why not meet them for yourself with the below video courtesy of the Gloucestershire Constabulary YouTube channel.
It is important to note that the initiative’s impact on people living with learning disabilities goes beyond those that wear the uniform. People with learning disabilities can be highly vulnerable to criminal victimisation and may face the compounding problem of communicating their experiences.
The Treasure Seeker Police Cadets initiative helps build trust between the police and people with learning disabilities and, in turn, helps police officers understand people with learning disabilities better. Carl summed up the benefits of the strong relationship; “When officers go into a place where they have people with learning disabilities they know that they have cadets who have disabilities too and if there is someone who cannot understand then we are there to help the officers to talk to them.”
As the initiative approaches its first birthday, it appears to be a resounding success. Cadets Co-ordinator Tracy Wren said, “They have engaged with communities and made a real difference, I couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of them and I would like to announce that the decision has been taken and we are going to be expanding the Treasure Seeker Cadets and we’re going to be taking them out and about giving them the opportunity to make a real difference to the communities that we serve”.
Tracy hopes to see other forces adopt the initiative and we certainly agree.
We wish them the best of luck with the World Class Policing Awards to be held on 14th November and in all they do going forward.
- Treasure Seekers
- Gloucestershire Constabulary to welcome adults with disabilities into the force
- Treasure Seeker Police Cadets on Crimewatch (feature at 36:15)
- World Class Policing Awards
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