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Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway joined the first ever team of primary school police cadets to launch the Force’s brand new Junior Police Squad programme.

The cadets, who are aged between 9 and 11, will follow a year-long police training programme culminating in a passing out parade at Kempston Police HQ to be attended by the PCC and Chief Constable. The first Junior Police Squad cadets went on parade at Putnoe Primary School on Church Lane, Putnoe, Bedford.
During the year, the fortnightly lessons will teach team-building and problem-solving skills as well as introducing the pupils to guest speakers and events including visits from the police dog handlers and forensic services officers and a planned police helicopter team.

“This scheme achieves so much for the pupils involved and for Bedfordshire Police. They learn life-skills around working together and listening carefully to instructions and also have a lot of fun. Nobody wanted to go home and my new uniforms, which will be worn on parade each week, seemed to be very popular,” said the Commissioner.

“Where the Force is concerned we are able to build strong bridges to children and communities which may not have had previous relationships with Police. I need the pupils to really trust us for their own sake to be able to pass on information about those who might want to harm them. I genuinely hope this scheme may also plant a seed for those taking part to become real-life police officers when they are older.

“The first Junior Police Cadets went on parade at Putnoe Primary School where the Head tells me 42 languages are spoken. Imagine if, in future, Bedfordshire Police had the benefit of recruits who brought those sort of skills to policing!” said the Commissioner.

The Junior Police Squad will be introduced in schools across Bedfordshire as part of a pilot scheme and aims to develop and maintain trust in the police as well as educate young people in the county around important issues like crime, anti-social behaviour and community safety.

Bedfordshire’s PCC Kathryn Holloway granted £3000 of funding to buy caps, mini-versions of police officers’ polo shirts and pocket books to kit out the Cadets.
Once older, from 16, the Junior Police Squad members will have the opportunity to join the full Police Cadet scheme.  

“It’s my ambition to make sure there are opportunities for the young people of Bedfordshire to engage with the Force throughout their childhood and to build and maintain confidence in the Police,” she said.

Other schools involved in the first Junior Police Squads are St Martin de Porres at Lewsey Farm, Luton, Queens’s Park Academy, Bedford and Brooklands Middle School in Leighton Buzzard.