Police cadets awarded at special ceremony

Twenty budding young police officers were awarded at a special achievement ceremony.

The year ten and 11 students, from Blakewater College in Blackburn, were all presented with a certificate of achievement after graduating from the Junior Police Academy.

The programme, which ran throughout the academic year, was designed to give pupils an insight into the work of the police force.

Topics including first aid training, crime scene investigation, fitness, orienteering and charity work were all covered by the ten week programme. Cadets were also involved in community projects with the Senior Cadets selling cakes at the college to raise money for the NSPCC. The Junior Cadets filled a hamper with gifts to help young homeless people in Blackburn and Darwen.

All cadets were presented with a certificate of achievement by Ch Insp Peter Lawson and Insp Paul Goodall at the ceremony which was held last week. Guest speakers included Mr Bill Lovatt, Director of Leisure and Tourism, Mr Majid Ditta, Blakewater College Deputy Head and Mr John Ratcliffe, Head of Children's services. Mr Ratcliffe also awarded the Duke of Edinburgh Certificates to the ten Cadets who successfully completed the Bronze section and the eight Cadets with their Silver award.

Senior Cadet of the Year was awarded to 16-year-old Karley Mason and the award for Junior Cadet of the Year was presented to 15-year-old Jenny Hill. A number of other awards were presented on the evening in front of an audience of relatives and friends.

School Beat Manager at Blakewater College, PC Eileen Smithson runs the programme along with PCSO Chris Nicholson, which is held after school hours at Blakewater College.

PC Smithson said: "The programme has been running for a number of years now and has been remarkable in helping teenagers engage with school life and the community, encouraging positive attitudes and behaviour.

"The cadets did a fantastic job and should be proud of their achievements throughout the whole year.

"It is a fantastic way for us to build bridges between the youngsters and the police in a fun environment. I am hopeful that some of the students who were involved in the programme may go on to become police officers or Police Community Support Officers in the future."

The programme was funded by 'Deal or No Deal' Youth Forum and Blackburn with Darwen Community Safety Partnership.

For further information, contact PC Smithson on 01254 505700

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