A POLICE cadet scheme that will see young people take part in community initiatives and problem solving has been launched.

The Durham Police volunteer cadet scheme for teenagers aged between 13 and 17-years-old will begin as a trial in Darlington and rolled out across the force area if it proves to be a success.

Organised by the Durham Agency Against Crime (DAAC), which has won national recognition for its youth engagement projects, the scheme will initially recruit 15 young people to take part.

The uniformed cadets will follow a programme including educational workshops and the chance to get involved with community policing and local problem solving, such as crime prevention and assisting with public safety events.

The group will also take part in team building exercises, physical fitness training and will also be able to work towards the Duke of Edinburgh Award as part of the scheme.

Bryan Russell, executive manager of DAAC, said: “We are delighted and proud to be running this project alongside Durham Constabulary, who are supporting us with valuable resources on a volunteer basis to provide an exciting project.”

The scheme has won the support of Ron Hogg, Police and Crime Commissioner for County Durham, who said: “This is an excellent scheme which supports our strategy to engage with young people and also recognises the tremendous amount of work that young people give to communities.

“This is not a recruitment tool for the police necessarily but it’s about getting young people engaged with their communities and giving them some skills. People have too much of a negative impression of young people and we want to turn that round.”

Formed in 1990, the DAAC is a charitable organisation that works in partnership with the police to reduce crime and fear of crime.

For more information on the Darlington police cadet scheme visit daac.org.uk and follow the instructions to apply.

All secondary schools in the town have been alerted to the scheme and have information on how to take part.