MORE than 200 new Volunteer Police Cadets started their journey with Essex Police by 'passing out' in front of friends and family at Essex Police HQ.

They were representing all 13 of cadet units in Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Castlepoint and Rochford, Chelmsford and Maldon, Clacton, Colchester, Epping, Harlow, Harwich, Southend, Thurrock, and Uttlesford.

They are involved in all community engagement events and work with their local Community Policing Team around crime prevention advice, raising money for charities, remembrance parades and events such as the Clacton Air Show.

Chief Constable BJ Harrington said: “There are 384 Volunteer Police Cadets across Essex, that’s tremendous. Young people getting involved in something really, really positive and having fun.

“Whether they continue their journey with Essex Police from a cadet to a volunteer to an officer or member of staff or go on to other walks of life they’re going to be a really positive influence on this county.

“I really do hope to see many of them becoming part of our workforce or just involved in their communities.

“The role of the cadets is essential. We need to represent and understand our communities.

“So often young people only get involved in policing as victims or as vulnerable people or as suspects.

“This demonstrates and builds a real strong relationship with our young people who’ll become young adults and gives them the confidence to see policing is something that helps them and supports them.

“We police with consent and it’s the consent of these young people as they grow up and their children grow up that we’ll need to keep this county safe.”