POLICE Commissioner Tony Lloyd has praised GMP’s police cadet scheme - saying it builds safer communities by encouraging building respect, confidence and good citizenship in young people.

Tony Lloyd was speaking after agreeing to fund the scheme for the next year, which will allow GMP to continue to recruit young people and provide them with more opportunities and life skills.

More than 300 young people between the ages of 13 and 17 participate in the prpject, helping GMP communicate and build effective relationships with people of all ages and from all backgrounds.

The initiative was developed by Sergeant Jane Butler and youth strategy officer PC Andrew Marsden, and provides a programme of weekly Cadet nights filled with activity, information and training in the work of the police. The scheme has also provided employment training for those involved in it.

Mr Lloyd said: “The cadets scheme has been vital in attempting to tackle anti-social behaviour, providing a greater understanding of issues affecting the community for the police, and improving employment opportunities for young people. Through the scheme, Greater Manchester Police are engaging with 300 young people on a weekly basis, helping them to blossom into active members of the community.

“This scheme would not be possible without the dedicated volunteers, who give up hours of their own time each week to work with the young people. They are really helping every one of these cadets – many of whom are from the most deprived parts of Greater Manchester – to become engaged members of society.

“Together with GMP, I want to do as much as possible to raise the self confidence, fitness and qualifications of young people. It’s good for the cadets themselves, but is also of real benefit to society as a whole.”