By Tristan Harris Monday 09 September 2013 Updated: 11/09 01:29
YOUNG people from Bromsgrove and Droitwich will be able to become police cadets after the launch of a new scheme.
It comes after the success of a similar project - The Telford Volunteer Police Cadets - which has been operational for 17 years.
It will now, with Wrekin, become one of five cadet groups in the area, with the others being South Worcestershire, North Worcestershire, Shropshire and Herefordshire.
The expanded scheme was officially launched at Hindlip Hall yesterday (Sunday) in front of current cadets' friends and families, senior police officers, dignitaries and the West Mercia Police Band.
There were 70 new cadets - 14 in each area - enrolled on the day and the Telford group's 14 current cadets passed out after successfully completing their two years. There was also an awards ceremony when the Cadets of the Year were named and attendance awards were given out.
The police cadet groups, which meet weekly, are open to young people aged between 16 and 18.
The two-year programme sees participants volunteer within their communities and support their local Safer Neighbourhood teams.
By the end, they achieve a qualification in leadership of team skills.
PC Vicky Ridgewell, who runs the Telford group, said the scheme showed young people had an important voice in policing and could bring their own unique set of skills to help develop and improve the force's interaction with young people.
Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Morgan said: "We are very proud of our cadets in West Mercia and I am delighted we are able to expand the scheme across the whole force area.
"During their two year cadetship, the young people gain confidence and develop leadership skills which they may not experience anywhere else and, in return, give a lot to the policing service and the local community."
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