YOUNG police cadets from Blaenau Gwent picked up a top prize at the National Crimebeat Awards in London on Wednesday, in recognition of their work to help the elderly and vulnerable.

The cadets came third at the charity's annual ceremony, which rewards the most innovative and successful crime prevention projects carried out by young people aged 5-25.

“I am immensely proud of the work of the Blaenau Gwent Cadets," Gwent Police inspector Amanda Thomas said. "Their dedication and professionalism is admirable. The cadets have been instrumental in breaking down barriers between generations, and delivering vital messages to our residents. They truly are part of the police family here in Blaenau Gwent.”

– Protecting the community

The cadets' project focused on stamping out doorstep crime – something which had caught their attention when an 85-year-old local woman was targeted by rogue traders, handing over a large sum of money for gardening work which was never completed.

The cadets began investigating that type of crime in Blaenau Gwent, speaking to elderly people at community groups and arranging for 'no cold-calling' signs to be put up around Ebbw Vale.

They also identified suspicious vans and monitored streets which could be targeted by rogue traders.

Gwent's police and crime commissioner Jeff Cuthbert, who attended the awards ceremony with the cadets, said: “The Blaenau Gwent cadets are doing a fantastic job in their community.

"Not only are they are helping to prevent crime and support vulnerable people in their area, they are building relationships and trust between the different generations.

“Their commitment and enthusiasm is evident, and the professional way they have approached their work is a credit to each of them. I am delighted that they have been recognised with this award and would like to congratulate them all on their success.”

– 'Remarkable success

National Crimebeat is the youth crime prevention charity of the High Sheriffs’ Association and is governed by trustees who are mainly former high sheriffs.

Sharon Linnard, the high sheriff of Gwent, said: "Blaenau Gwent cadets have achieved remarkable success in coming third in the National Crimebeat Awards.

"They demonstrated community awareness, problem-solving and teamwork to deliver an excellent project aimed at combatting doorstep crime, which is transferable across the county.

"We are all really proud of them."

– Facts about Gwent Police Cadets

•The Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC) is the nationally recognised police uniformed youth group throughout the UK.

•The purpose of the VPC is to encourage the spirit of adventure and good citizenship among its members.

•The VPC encourage young people to deliver messages in the community and work towards reducing crime.

•The Blaenau Gwent cadet unit was established in April 2018 and is made up of 15 cadets.

•The role of a cadet is extremely varied. Cadets participate in many exciting outdoor activities such as; white-water rafting, weekend holidays and summer camps, as well as assisting at community events and foot patrol at local events.

•Gwent Police Cadets have five units based in Newport, Pontypool, Abergavenny, Blackwood, and Ebbw Vale. They are run by police officers, police staff and volunteers in their spare time, with costs met through some funding and subscriptions.

•For more information, visit here or follow the cadets on Twitter @GPPoliceCadets