The Violence Reduction Unit and the Ashford and Canterbury sections of the Volunteer Police Cadets were celebrated at a ceremony held at the University of Kent on Wednesday 1 September 2021.
With no event held last year due to the pandemic, former High Sheriff Paul Barrett was on hand to present his awards for the 2019/20 financial year.
The Volunteer Police Cadets were among the recipients, recognising the valuable structure and training provided to children including those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Members of the Ashford and Canterbury sections were also thanked for taking part in the High Sheriff’s Justice Service, an annual event held at Canterbury Cathedral in which members of the legal profession are blessed for their work.
Volunteer Police Cadets manager Anne-Marie Moore said:
‘It is an honour for our team and the cadets themselves to have been selected for such a prestigious award.
‘Many of the young people we work with have experienced hardship in their lives, but by supporting and encouraging them to take part in positive community initiatives we hope to give them the confidence to aim high and succeed.
‘This award is something they should all be very proud of.’
Another former High Sheriff, Remony Millwater, also presented her awards for the 2020/21 financial year during the ceremony.
Kent Police’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) was among the recipients in recognition of its work in raising awareness of the dangers of carrying knives and the consequences of knife crime.
Earlier this year the VRU ran a competition in which schoolchildren were encouraged to submit artwork encouraging young people not to carry weapons, resulting in around 100 submissions from across the county.
VRU manager Detective Chief Inspector Ben Loose said:
‘The aim of the Violence Reduction Unit is to address the causes of violent crime, and to support those involved and affected by it. We were really pleased that the art competition we ran was so well received, and are very grateful to have been recognised with a High Sheriff Award as a result.
‘Whilst levels of knife crime in Kent remain relatively low compared to other parts of the country, educating young people about the devastating impact it can have on victims and their families continues to be an important part of keeping our communities safe.’
The High Sheriff Awards are organised every year by the Kent Community Foundation, which provides grants to charities and voluntary organisations in order to improve the lives of local people including those who are vulnerable, isolated or disadvantaged.