Fire and Police Cadet Unit expands to Bury St Edmunds

Suffolk’s Fire and Police Cadet Unit has expanded to Bury St Edmunds as part of a youth engagement programme to assist young people in raising aspirations and becoming pillars of their community.

Held on Wednesday 23 March at Bury St Edmunds Fire Station, the cadets met for the first time as a combined emergency service cadet unit. As part of the ongoing ‘Blue Light’ collaboration in Suffolk, the young people will continue to develop as cadets up until the age of 18. The cadets all aged between 13 and 18 are originally from a police cadet unit running successfully in Bury St Edmunds for many years. They will meet regularly at the Fire Station and the Police Station to develop new skills including fire safety, police procedures, firefighting drills and community engagement.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police & Crime Commissioner said: “I have seen first-hand the positive impact that being a cadet has had on young people involved in existing units and I am delighted to see this being extended to include the Fire Service in Bury St Edmunds. The cadet motto ‘It’s not where you’ve come from; It’s where you’re going that counts’ perfectly encapsulates the aim of the organisation, which is to help young people become good citizens.

“All too often young people make a wrong choices as teenagers and this limits their choices in the future. By showing the young people how to make positive life choices it is hoped that they will become good citizens and develop leadership qualities that will help them to become more confident and principled adults.

“In my police and crime plan I committed my support to the cadets and pledged to expand and improve the scheme. We are looking forward to launching units in Beccles, Stowmarket and Mildenhall in the coming months.”

Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, Cllr Matthew Hicks said: “It is a real pleasure to witness the commitment these young people have made to their community. The cadets have become part of the Fire and Police extended family and have developed skills and values, which will help them to make positive life choices and better support their communities.

“Both services recruited members of their staff to run the weekly meetings on a voluntary basis in their spare time. I would like to express my gratitude to these highly dedicated and enthusiastic individuals who are fully committed to the support and development of young people in the town. Following on from the passing out parade with the cadets in Haverhill and Lowestoft last year, I am delighted to see the cadet scheme grow and go from strength to strength.”

The aims of the scheme are;

  • To reduce youth vulnerability to crime and social exclusion through enhancing young people’s ability to contribute and achieve.
  • To promote and encourage a practical interest in policing and fire fighting among young people.
  • To provide training to encourage positive leadership within communities.
  • To encourage the spirit of adventure and develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship.

Suffolk Constabulary already has a highly successful cadet programme which operates across the county. These have been in existence for four years now and plans are in place to increase the number of units to ensure that young people anywhere in Suffolk can become cadets regardless of geographical location.