Young people from Melton are being urged to become police cadets to support full time officers in their duties across the county.
Leicestershire Police have 300 cadets enrolled at present and they have launched a recruitment drive to take on another 150.
Aged 13 to 17, members of the Volunteer Police Cadet (VPC) programme are trained by police officers, staff and cadet leaders and they gain an unrivalled insight into policing, learn new skills and help their community.
They attend weekly sessions during the academic year and are asked to volunteer three hours per month in their communities.
VPC Kayla Simmonds (17) has been a member of the Melton Cadet Unit for two years and is in the process of joining the Royal Air Force Police.
She said: “Since joining the cadets I’ve met lots of new people, and not only has my confidence improved, but also my ability to communicate effectively with people I don’t know.
“There’s something for everyone in the cadets, whether you’d like a future career in the force or not.
“It’s not just about police skills, it’s about life skills.”
Police cadets are also given the opportunity to complete formal qualifications such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, take part in national competitions and tournaments and gain certificates in St John Ambulance first aid training.
The aims of the VPC programme are to promote a practical understanding of policing among young people, as well as to support local policing priorities through volunteering and giving young people a chance to be heard.
Superintendent Shane O’Neill, the lead for volunteers in policing with the Leicestershire force, said: “Joining our cadet programme is a fantastic opportunity for young people to make a positive and valued contribution to policing in their local community.
“Cadets can gain a great deal from their involvement, from building personal confidence to making new friends and gaining experience for a future career in the police.
“Last year the cadets volunteered more than 10,000 hours to the force, which is tremendous.
“In this time they’ve developed their policing skills and knowledge, supported the force operationally and at community and partner events, completed recognised qualifications and had a lot of fun along the way.”
Young people interested have until Saturday March 31 to apply. All applicants must be due to turn 13 by Friday August 31.
Go online at www.leics.police.uk/couldyou for more information on the Volunteer Police Cadet programme and to apply.