Gloucestershire Constabulary scheme welcomes adults with disabilities into the force
Gloucestershire Constabulary is looking to recruit 15 adults with learning difficulties in an initiative believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
A pilot scheme – the Treasure Seekers Police Cadets – was launched in November 2018 and saw the introduction of four community police cadet officers. During the past six months they have undertaken duties alongside members of the Special Constabulary, such as speeding operations, public engagement and building surveillance in a training environment.
All four – Adam, Richard, Carl and Rime – said that they felt proud to be a part of the police family and hoped that other people in similar situations would feel the same.
“When officers go into a place where they have people with learning disabilities, they know that they have cadets who have disabilities too, and if there is someone who cannot understand then we are there to help the officers to talk to them,” explained Carl.
Rime added: “This has helped me talk to the police if I’ve got any issues and help show that people with disabilities can talk to the police about their problems. If someone has any problems, they can talk to us and we can help them talk to the police about what they’ve gone through and to make sure they’re happy and in a safe environment.”
Adam said it had given him a chance to prove to people that he can “do things without people judging me about the disability that I’ve got”, adding: “I want to prove that people with a disability shouldn’t be left out.”
Programme coordinator Tracy Wren said the cadets had “engaged with communities and made a real difference”.
She said they would be expanding the Treasure Seeker Cadets to give them the opportunity to “make a real difference” to the communities the force serves.
“This programme is supported by the National Volunteer Police Cadets and we hope that other forces will consider this initiative,” added Ms Wren.