Careers > Being a police cadet

Posted on September 11, 2017

Jack Sousa da Silva takes the controls of a police helicopter

Jack Sousa da Silva discusses why learning more about the law has led to better career options
My name is Jack Sousa da Silva and I’m 16. I joined the police cadets almost two years ago. I first heard there was a Volunteer Police Cadet force from the school’s police officer when I was 14. I decided to join so I could get experience of how policing works, and learn about different laws. I also thought it would be easier for me to join the police force when I’m old enough.

I didn’t make a lot of friends at school, but I made a lot more friends in the cadets. Being a police cadet is all about learning new things every day, doing a lot of activities, and going on trips. I really enjoy going on the camping trips, and joining the police cadets has helped to build up my confidence.

I have been taught the definitions on theft, burglary and robbery. I have also learned about cautions, stop and account, stop and search, first aid and many other things. We get taught how these things work in different role plays. I have taken part in The Duke of Edinburgh Award, and I am working on my bronze.

We cannot patrol the streets, but we do lot of fun activities, and I have learned how to work in a team.

Joining the police cadets has helped to build up my confidence

At the recent Tottenham Police Station Open Day in August, I got to meet the Mayor of Haringey, and I asked him questions about what it’s like being a mayor! It is good to meet people who are important in the community, because they are experienced in their jobs and you can learn from that.

To that end, I have also met the Borough Commander of Haringey, Helen Millichap. When I spoke to Ma’am she gave me lots of information about joining the police force. It was very useful.

During my time at the cadets I have been to visit the Air Support Unit. Whilst I was there, the officer let me and other cadets in the helicopter, and gave us a tour of what they do. To maintain the helicopter is expensive, and the camera the officers use costs more than an average car!

On another trip I met the police dogs. They are trained to do amazing things, for example they can sniff for drugs, firearms or even suspects.

Cadets have also been invited to attend the mounted branch, where officers talked about different things they can do with the horses. Did you know police officers can arrest someone when they are on the horse? And they can sometimes see much better up there!

I think anyone aged 10 to 18 should think about joining the Volunteer Police Cadet

A police officer once took me and other cadets to Wood Green Crown Court so we could see the judge speaking to suspects. Judges have great experience, and sometimes think a suspect should have a second chance.

Of course there is also weekly drill! A drill is a sequence of movements where you move in formation from one place to another in time with the other cadets. When I first did the drill I thought it was so difficult, but later it was easy with practice.

Cadets also compete against each other – in the summer holiday there is an annual competition where all 32 boroughs’ police cadets compete, involving problem solving and physical training.

I think anyone aged 10 to 18 should think about joining the Volunteer Police Cadets, because people will learn so many things and will have a lot of fun with the activities.

Jack Sousa da Silva
Jack, born 23rd of March is a big (protective) brother to Gemma Sousa Da Silva, and baby brother to Emma De Sousa (sadly deceased). He is trying to enjoy life to the full, and always going out and having fun.

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