I am Matthew Selwood, a nighteen year old from Gloucestershire. Ever since I was little I wanted to join the force and I wanted to join it as soon as I could. In order to do so I focused my whole attention to the police at the age of 13, luckily in 2014 Gloucestershire Constabulary decided to open up the volunteer cadet scheme for the first time in over 20 years. Right away I applied to join and was successful, therefore, at the age of 15 I was involving myself in the police for the first time in my life and I was really excited to start this journey with the cadet scheme.

My cadet life was very eventful, signing up for many events, learning how to use the speed device and using that training around Stroud, patrolling on many occasions with many police officers and PCSOs giving up their time for the cadet scheme was a very exciting experience for me and I loved every second of it. Getting to see the equipment and meet the dogs at Bamfurlong was a memorable experience and will live with me for the rest of my life. Cadets did so much for me and transformed me into the person I am now, giving me very valuable skills such as being able to engage with a wide variety of people, learning about others needs and showing me what to look out for and how to deal with a number of difficult situations. The list of skills that the cadets gave me is endless and it would take hours to list all of them. I was lucky enough in my cadet career to become section officer, the rank meant that I was in charge of around 6 people and I learnt how to control and teach a squad of cadets, this was also an amazing thing to happen to me because I grew in confidence rapidly, whilst obtaining some valuable leadership skills in the meantime.

Now, at nineteen years old it is time to start the next journey in my life, becoming a police officer. I applied in January 2017 at the age of 18 and was successful, I will be attested in early January 2018. This is my dream career and I cannot wait to start. The cadets were vital towards me getting into the force this early and I am sure it will help me as I progress through my career. Gloucestershire Constabulary has been such a welcoming force so far and I could not wish for a better start to my life, and cannot say thank you enough to the cadet scheme for how much they have done for me and for shaping me into the person I am now.

PC Selwood
Police Cadet to PC