More than 100 Volunteer Police Cadets from across Hertfordshire descended on Police Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City at the weekend (July 9-10) to take part in the 2016 County Cadet Competition.
The annual event saw 10 teams complete 12 scenarios and team building exercises throughout the day on Saturday.
These included dealing with a mock road traffic collision, a hostage rescue assault course, a 500-metre shield run where the cadets had to run with heavy riot shields while wearing a riot helmet, arresting suspects in a mock shoplifting scenario as well as giving evidence in court in front of real-life magistrates and lawyers, who volunteered their time to help the cadets.
New for this year was a communications activity which tested the cadets’ knowledge of police radio procedures and effectively conveying key information.
Park Guard Ltd, which sponsored some of the weekend, also brought along two search dogs and a cadet from each unit was given the opportunity to learn how to work with the dogs and complete a mock search activity.
Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and some of their cadets volunteered their time to manage a hose-run scenario.
In all, more than 100 volunteers, including many cadet leaders, gave up their free time to assist with the running of the weekend, including taking part in the different scenarios.
On Sunday the cadets were joined by around 200 family members and friends for a parade and inspection by Assistant Chief Constable Simon Megicks, Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd and Chief Inspector Stuart Orton. They were also joined by Mayors from the majority of the county’s boroughs.
This was followed by presentations and awards.
The overall winners were Welwyn and Hatfield, with Hertsmere a close second place. Joint third were North Herts and St Albans and Harpenden.
Chairman of the Hertsmere Police Cadets, PC Ross Paybody, organised the event. He said: “Every year County Competition is getting bigger and better which couldn’t be done without the help and support from our volunteers.
“The weekend gives the cadets the opportunity to test the skills they have learnt throughout the year, meet other cadet groups and compete in a number of different activities.
“I am delighted that the event keeps growing; four years ago we had 50 cadets taking part and this year we have doubled that amount.
“I’d like to thank all the role play volunteers and cadet leaders for their support in making the event such a success. I’d also like to thank Park Guard Ltd, Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, the Constabulary and Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Sports and Social Club who all contributed to this year’s event.”
Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, said: “Another increased turnout for this year’s County Competition along with a notable rise in demand for cadet schemes across the county is testament to how well regarded and important police cadets are in keeping our community safe.
“The experience, confidence and skills that these cadets are learning now will no doubt help them in the years to come, wherever their education and career paths lead. I was very impressed with the commitment I saw from them this weekend and enjoyed seeing the many proud faces among their families and friends in attendance.”
Assistant Chief Constable Simon Megicks said: “It was fantastic to be able to see Hertfordshire’s police cadets in action at the county competition. They displayed exceptional teamwork and impressive leadership skills as they tackled the various scenarios throughout the day.
“From speaking with parents and cadet leaders throughout the weekend it’s clear that this is a great scheme which is helping young people to build their own skills and confidence, while helping their communities at the same time. A big well done to all involved.”
Hertfordshire Police Cadets are young members of the community, aged between 14 and 18, who are involved in a wide range of activities and events. As well as learning about police procedures and the law, cadets also play a vital role in community events, engaging with members of the public and educating them on crime prevention. Specialist departments such as the tri-force Armed Policing Unit and Dog Unit also give regular talks.
The role of a cadet is extremely varied and you will develop a wide range of skills while having fun and helping your local community. Groups are led by police officers, PCSOs and volunteers who support young people in their development. Groups are open to all and you do not have to have ambitions to work within the police force.
If you are interested in joining, please visit https://www.herts.police.uk/hertfordshire_constabulary/cadets.aspx