Gloucestershire Constabulary has launched a new initiative, that we believe is the first in the country, and will see the recruitment of 15 adults with learning difficulties into the force.
The Treasure Seekers Police Cadets initiative launched in November 2018 and saw the introduction of four Community Police Cadet Officers.
Adam, Richard, Carl and Rime have been Treasure Seeker Cadets for the past six months and have undertaken a number of duties alongside members of the Special Constabulary such as speeding operations, public engagement and building surveillance in a training environment.
All four 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.
Carl said: "I'm learning to help other people, I give them advice and now I’m looking forward to making a difference.
"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."
Richard said: "I joined the police cadets to get more experience and when I was told that I had been offered a place I felt that I now had something to be proud of. Since joining my confidence has grown very much.
"I have enjoyed this and have done things such as working with speed devices and going out with the cadets to raise police awareness whilst engaging with the public."
Rime said: "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.
"I enjoy helping people with disabilities like myself to realise that the police are really good people who are here to help the best they can.
"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: "Ever since I was in school I always wanted to become a police officer and when I heard about this I jumped at the chance to do it.
"This has given me a chance to prove to people that I can do things without people judging me about the disability that I’ve got. I want to prove that people with a disability shouldn’t be left out."
Cadets co-ordinator Tracy Wren said: "This initiative of Gloucestershire Constabulary Treasure Seeker Cadets started in November 2018 when I decided that the Treasure Seekers had an awful lot to give back to the community.
"Since November they have been out using speed devices, on building surveillance exercises, have been out on operations with traffic and they have loved every minute of it.
"They have engaged with communities and made a real difference, I couldn't be prouder of each and every one of them and I would like to announce that the decision has been taken and we are going to be expanding the Treasure Seeker Cadets and we’re going to be taking them out and about giving them the opportunity to make a real difference to the communities that we serve.
“This programme is supported by the National Volunteer Police Cadets and we hope that other forces will consider this initiative."