Derbyshire cadets win national recognition

Crimebeat is the national youth crime prevention charity of the High Sheriffs’ Association and each year an awards ceremony is held to recognise the most innovative and successful crime prevention projects carried out by young people (aged up to 25 years old). You can read more about Crimebeat and the awards here: – http://www.national-crimebeat.com/national-crimebeat-awards-how-does-it-work/

Derbyshire Constabulary Cadets  undertook research  about drug use. and how to educate young people away from drugs through informed choices, winning national recognition in the process.

The cadets delivered presentations in schools and upon evaluating their data found that their presentation had a positive impact by increasing knowledge around the harmful effects of drug use, sentences imposed, how to avoid drugs and knowing where to find help.

Julie Berry, Youth Engagement Officer for Derbyshire Constabulary said: “Having been the one to put the team forward for this award I’m thrilled to see them win runners up in the youth led category.

“Using early intervention through education is key in helping to provide young people with the information they need to help them make the right choices for themselves as individuals and also to build positive relationships with them so they know who they can turn to if they need help. The team have done a fantastic job and I’m really proud of everything they have achieved.”

Zoe, Dan, Ciara and Charlie said: “We feel honoured that our efforts have made the final as this project meant a lot to us. We hope now the police cadet group can begin to extend our project in order to help many more young people, creating more awareness about drugs and the harmful effects they can have. We look forward to deciding how to most effectively target our reward once cadets can meet again.”

More about the project

Cadets undertook research which showed that drug use in young people had increased and this had impacted on school exclusions. It was found that the median age according to official statistics was 15 years old – this was how they made a research-informed approach:

  • 13-15 years olds had the highest percentage increase since 2005
  • There had been an increase in class A drug use in young people
  • Cadets used the SARA (Scan, Analyse, Respond, Assess) model to plan their project
  • Cadets felt that young people delivering the presentations would have a greater impact than via an adult, as the other young people could relate to them better

Two schools were surveyed (one urban, one rural), comprising 339 returns: 146 from school one and 193 from school two. The headline results, concerning the impact of the cadet presentation on the harmfulness of drugs, were: –

School 1

– Understanding harmful effects increased from 77% to 95%

– Understanding drug classes increased from 60% to 96%

– Understanding sentences for drug use increased from 35% to 92%

– Know how to effectively avoid drugs increased from 75% to 93%

– Know where to find help increased from 62% to 91%

School 2

– Understanding harmful effects increased from 66% to 97%

– Understanding drug classes increased from 40% to 93%

– Understanding sentences for drug use increased from 31% to 95%

– Know how to effectively avoid drugs increased from 58% to 89%

– Know where to find help increased from 52% to 90%

Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa said, “This fantastic achievement by our cadets is a testament to their energy and dedication. Well done to them and to Crimebeat for supporting them.”

If you want to know more about the Derbyshire cadets contact Julie Berry, Youth Engagement Officer, at Julie.Berry.17421@derbyshire.pnn.police.uk

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