It's quite surprising how often I hear people comment on the lack of activities for young people and how that impacts on anti-social behaviour in some areas - well I have to say I disagree!

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner.Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner. (Image: Archant)

A quick search on the internet shows a huge choice of activities for young people in the Waveney area. Since I became Police and Crime Commissioner I have awarded many grants to support voluntary sector organisations in their work with youngsters including Access Community Trust and Catch 22. I do this because I know how important it is to provide worthwhile pursuits for the younger generation.

At the end of April, I was delighted to attend the police cadets open morning at North Lowestoft Fire Station and I saw a particularly impressive display involving body searches, drug detection and 'arrests'. Friends and families present also watched some excellent firefighting activities. This cadet unit is now a joint police and fire emergency services cadet unit. I am very proud to say that Suffolk led the way by founding the country's first ever emergency service cadet unit in Haverhill two years ago, it is great to see police and fire working together to support our young people.

Joining the police/emergency service cadets is especially useful for those considering a career in the blue light services, as there are many opportunities to sample some of the daily operational work carried out by officers – properly supervised of course! Older cadets can also experience some exciting multi-agency enforcement activities and undercover work (subject to parental permission), which sounds really exciting.

Being a cadet delivers many personal and societal benefits including discipline, self-respect and commitment, and whilst some may regard these attributes as rather old fashioned, I am convinced being a cadet helps our young people make the right choices in life and become good citizens in adulthood. There are other useful life skills included in the training programme such as personal, online and home safety, managing money and fitness, recognising the importance of keeping fit and healthy with specific reference to the dangers of substance misuse and addiction.

The Waveney district is home to two of Suffolk's nine units in Beccles and Lowestoft, so if you're interested or would like to join in a taster session, on your own or with some friends, why not give it a try?

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