Alexandra has been a volunteer police cadet with the Thurrock unit for five years. As a young child, she always had an interest in policing. She was inspired by her grandfather, who was a police officer in Romania.
“I always knew that when I grew up, I wanted to do something connected with policing,” said Alexandra. “I was really proud of my grandad being in the police and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. “I always had a fascination with criminal investigation. I loved watching TV programmes like NCIS and anything to do with the FBI.”
Alexandra joined the unit in Thurrock as a 13-year-old who lacked confidence. Fast-forward five years and she is now the unit’s deputy cadet.
“If it wasn’t for police cadets, my self-belief and confidence wouldn’t have grown like it has,” said Alexandra. “Now I love having a voice. I speak up, actively volunteer for things, and feel confident discussing ideas and suggestions with other people. “I’ve achieved so much and even led the command for my unit in drill marches – something I never thought I’d have been able to do when I first started.”
Something that Alexandra felt was key in her development was the friends she’d made with others in the unit.
“Our unit socialises a lot,” she said with a smile. “We’re a friendly bunch, who support and encourage each other. Through the friendships we’ve made, we’ve gained the confidence to speak to, and interact, with new people. “This is such an important skill to have and I’m a believer that the key to success starts with the ability to communicate well with others.”
Alexandra has another year with the volunteer police cadet programme and is already planning for her future career in criminal justice.
“I want to go to university and study criminology and the law,” she said. “My involvement with police cadets has strengthened my want to help people, make sure victims of crime get justice and hold criminals accountable for their actions. “It has given me a great foundation for my future. I’ve had a unique insight into policing and how the criminal justice system works. I will be able to take the practical knowledge I’ve gained about policing into the next stage of my education.”
To anyone considering joining the Essex Police volunteer police cadet programme, Alexandrahas a simple message:
“Do it! You won’t regret it. You’ll learn new skills, develop your existing ones, meet new people, make new friends, and gain confidence. “You’ll get to take part in new experiences, help your community and if, like me, you have an interest in policing – you’ll get a unique ‘behind the scenes’ insight.”