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Young people are given a new voice in policing

News   •   Nov 01, 2016 00:01 GMT

[Image: VPCs Emma Cheetham (L) and Valicious Vincent (R)]

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has today, Tuesday 1 November launched 'The Voice of Youth Programme’ giving Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC) the chance to work alongside MPS staff during a month long initiative.

The Voice of Youth Programme has been designed to work in partnership with the Children's Commissioner's national one-day Takeover Challenge. Due to its continued success over previous years, the Met initiative has evolved to run over several weeks this year.

The month long initiative will give around 60 cadets the chance to work with adults for a day and be involved in decision making processes. They will benefit from the opportunity to experience the world of work within the police, and other organisations, which include the Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE), Jack Petchey Foundation and Battersea Dogs Home.

For the first time, cadets will also be given the chance to shadow senior officers in the Fire Services. They will have a chance to make their voices heard; whilst adults and the organisations can benefit from a fresh perspective on the way they work.

It is hoped this interaction will help break down any barriers that may exist between the generations and encourage children and young people to become involved in future community activities.

Those selected took part in a rigorous selection process and have been allocated a placement on the basis of their interest and skills.

Cadets will be assigned to work with various police staff across all 32 boroughs in London.

Two lucky cadets, Emma Cheetham and Valicious Vincent, both 18, will be briefly posted to take over the responsibilities of Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

Emma will also be spending the day alongside Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt, who will be introducing her to a day in the life of a senior officer. The day will give her the chance to take part in a Senior Leadership Team meeting, chaired by the Commissioner. She will also be given an insight into local policing during a visit to the borough of Wandsworth.

The Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said: 

"The Volunteer Police Cadets are tremendously important to the Met. They represent our future and we are so proud of them. All the senior officers and staff look forward to being 'taken over' every year, it makes us take a fresh look at our roles and the cadets invariably bring great insights as well as practical ideas. The new Voice of Youth Programme takes the excellent principles of the 'Takeover Challenge' and builds on them to make sure our team can continue to benefit from young peoples' perspectives."

VPC Emma Cheetham, said:

"I'm excited to spend some time with the Commissioner and the Assistant Commissioner, where I'm hoping to gain an insight into their working lives. I'm going to ask cadets from my unit if there's anything that they'd like me to ask either of them, as well as asking questions of my own, so I'm looking forward to hearing their responses and passing them back on to my cadets."

If you are aged between 10 and 24 and are interested in signing up please visit:

http://content.met.police.uk/Site/cadets

The MPS also crucially needs more adult volunteers to become Cadet Leaders so more groups of Cadets and Junior Cadets can be formed across the city. If you are interested in joining please visit:

http://www.metpolicecareers.co.uk/followthatvpc

If your company is interested in supporting placements for young people in November 2017, please contact Lucy.O'Mahony@met.pnn.police.uk