Wales

Young police volunteers 'can play key role' tackling crime

Abi Samuel
Image caption Abi says: "It gives you a good reputation, looking out for others"

The work of police cadets and young volunteers in helping to tackle crime and its causes is being recognised at an event in Cardiff.

The All-Wales Youth Policing Convention also aims to give young people more of a voice about policing.

Dyfed-Powys police and crime commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn is behind the event.

There are 497 uniformed youth volunteers aged 13 to 18 across Wales, with 62 expected at the Senedd.

Abi, 17, is at college and hopes to join the police after getting a degree.

"It's good fun - and I've learnt different codes and roles in the police, behind desks and out front. It's very out and about, different to what I thought it was," she said.

She took part in an exercise to see if alcohol or knives would be sold to young people.

"It makes a difference with younger people explaining what they [the police] do, she added.

"I think I'm the only one of my friends to do this. I'm perhaps one of the sensible ones. We've done a lot of events - and a lot out on the beat."

Image caption Both Cat and Courtney have been involved for 18 months

Cat Veasey, 18, also at college, said: "Normally we meet weekly and volunteer in the community, like the Pride march and we'll be doing the Remembrance parade."

Fellow volunteer Courtney Price-Calder got interested in policing when she was at primary school: "No-one in my family is involved with the police, but I've always been interested and I'm studying criminology in school now.

"It's about looking after people in the community."

Morgan, 16, from Cardiff, has been volunteering for 18 months and is hoping for a career in the police as a dog-handler.

He joined with the other volunteers in helping with a police Halloween event for children in Splott, Cardiff.

"We've learnt communication skills, how to use a radio - it's made me more confident talking to people. It's a different insight into what the police do."

And Reuben, 14, said: "People think they just go around arresting people but it's about helping the public."

Image caption Police youth volunteers Morgan and Reuben helping at a Halloween engagement event with children in Splott, Cardiff

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokeswoman said: "It's about putting a Welsh stamp on the work of the cadets and recognising the impact that they have on our communities."

The young volunteers will also be taking a tour of the Senedd and will meet representatives from Fearless, likened to Crimestoppers for young people, all four Welsh forces, the National Citizens In Policing Hub and Welsh Government.

The Dyfed-Powys force spokeswoman added: "Cadets have an important role in tackling emerging crimes, as they are best placed to engage with their peers."

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