• Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

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Intu Metrocentre Scheme to be Rolled out Nationally

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 13.58.30A scheme at a North East shopping centre which gives Police cadets the opportunity to experience a busy nightshift has been so successful that it is going to be rolled out nationally.


Intu Metrocentre has supported the North East Police cadets for a number of years, including allowing them to spend a night at the centre and deal with a number of specially created “emergency” scenarios.


And now organisers of the Police cadets nationally have been so impressed with the night time scheme, they are looking to encourage other shopping centres around the UK to follow suit.


The North East scheme is run by Northumbria Police, giving young people over the age of 14 the opportunity to sign up for the four year project, which gives them a real insight into the work of the Police.


And that includes the night at intu Metrocentre where the young people are called out to deal with a number of “incidents” throughout the shift.


“The Metrocentre has always been a great supporter of the cadets,” said Sgt Alan Parks, Volunteer Police Cadet Coordinator at Northumbria Police.


“And the night shift event is always really popular. We get an empty shop to use as a base and between 11pm and 7amthe young people get a taste of real police work.”


A number of scenes are set up for the cadets to deal with, from first aid emergencies to looking after victims of crime.


“We have six night shifts throughout the year so that every group can be involved in one,” said Sgt Parks, who previously worked at the shopping centre as Neighbourhood Community Sergeant.


“We have had the National Volunteer Police Cadet management team here to see it and they were so impressed they want to try and get shopping centres across the country to do something similar.”


The relationship between the cadets and intu Metrocentre – which has also given them financial support – has led to a number of successes.


Cadets in Northumberland and Gateshead groups are to receive High Sheriff Awards for work in their communities, while two cadets have been shortlisted for Northumbria Police Excellence Awards – Outstanding Volunteer.


A cadet has also been short listed for a national St John’s Ambulance Award in recognition of them giving first aid to a victim of assault who had sustained a head injury, while another has received a Chief Officers’ Commendation after volunteering for 400 hours.


Although the scheme is aimed at improving life skills to gain employment rather than as a way into the police force, a cadet has recently been successful in his application to become an officer, while 18 cadets have completed their Duke of Edinburgh Awards.


“We are delighted to have been able to support such an important scheme and that our input has led to such positive results,” said Patsie Beaton, General Manager at intu Metrocentre.


“These young people are great role models and it’s great to hear that a scheme piloted at intuMetrocentre is likely to be replicated nationwide.”

By admin