DOZENS of Andover young people will be able to join a new police cadets scheme in the town from September.

The town is one of seven in the area to benefit from the idea after the first pioneer cadet scheme in Southampton proved to be a success.

The first 74 Volunteer Police Cadets from the initial scheme were passed out at a ceremony on Wednesday at Netley police HQ attended by the Chief Constable and Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

The ten-week induction programme has seen the first cadets learning teamworking and leadership skills, meeting various departments within the police and gaining a recognised first aid qualification.

The scheme has been designed as a youth engagement programme for young people aged from 13 to 18.

The aim is to promote a practical understanding of the police among all young people and to encourage the spirit of adventure and good citizenship.

The first cadets have committed to volunteering with local policing and community initiatives, starting with a policing operation which is to be conducted in Southampton later this month.

They will then be assisting the organisers of the New Forest Show during their summer holidays as well as taking part in the first Hampshire Constabulary annual camp in August.

Force Cadet Leader, PC Steve Swift said: “This is a fantastic scheme aimed at improving the future potential of young people as well as providing the constabulary with an excellent form of positive engagement with young people.”