Teenagers volunteer to protect vandalised Town Centre church

Local teens have given up their own time to help protect a church from crime after working with police in Huddersfield to help deter vandalism. 

Officers from the Huddersfield Neighbourhood Policing Team have praised volunteer police cadets for their work to help safeguard the Huddersfield Parish Church from vandalism following recent damage there.

A group of 13-18-year-old volunteer cadets worked with the Huddersfield Town Centre Partnership Team, Huddersfield  NPT and Huddersfield Bid to spend their Sunday ( January 16th) clearing the area around the church of items which could be used to damage it.

As part of the cadet course, the Kirklees Volunteer Cadets had carried out a crime prevention problem solving exercise around the church and identified there were a lot of stones and pieces of cement in and around St Peter’s Gardens.

A team of volunteers including young Volunteer Police Cadets help to tidy up the Huddersfield Parish Church

PC Stuart Clarke, Kirklees District Volunteer Cadet Leader, said: “The cadets felt that tidying up the stones reduced the opportunity and means for damage to be caused and so arranged to clear the area.

“This is a brilliant example of young people identifying an issue in their local community and working, as volunteers in their own time,  with Police and Partners to make a difference. I am proud of their good citizenship and being able to work with them.”

Young people from all backgrounds are encouraged to join the Volunteer Police Cadet scheme and follow a 2 year programme which is linked to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Cadet units meets once a week at a local school or a community venue to learn about different aspects of policing, take part in weekly drill sessions and develop their teamwork skills.

The cadets also carry out social action volunteering projects in the local community. Recent examples have included assisting with Community Speedwatch, test-purchasing and local community fairs/events.

Inspector Graham Dyson of the Huddersfield NPT, said: “It had been heartening to see the cadets become involved in work to clear the site around the church and hopefully deter more vandalism.

“Using their initiative, they identified the potential for some crime prevention work and have then done a great job with my officers and local authority colleagues to put that work into action.

“We continue to appeal for information regarding the vandalism at the church last year, and would ask anyone who can assist to contact the NPT on 101 or online at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101livechat   referencing crime number 13210626744.

“Information can also be provided anonymously to the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”

Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses to two incidents in which windows were attacked by vandals at the Byram Street church last year.

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