Derbyshire Police Federation

Police programmes inspire Cadet to train as a Special

13 February 2024

After watching police programmes on television as a young boy, Luke Preston knew he wanted to be a serving officer.

He took the first step towards fulfilling that goal when he joined Derbyshire Police Cadets as a 12-year-old.

And now, aged 18, he’s being put through his paces as he trains to become a Special Constable.

But it all started for him growing up in Amber Valley when he was absorbed by watching factual police programmes.

Luke, who is the first person from his family to be part of Derbyshire Police, said: “I was about five or six when I decided I wanted to be a police officer.

“I used to love watching programmes like Police Interceptors and Traffic Cops at that age.

“It had me immediately drawn to it, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”


Luke Preston is hoping to become a Special Constable.


Luke’s journey with the Force began when he joined the Cadets at Landau Forte College in Derby.

“I wanted to gain a proper understanding of what the police force was about and to experience being part of it.

“I also wanted to start to develop the skills that would be needed for the police, to understand how they did investigations, to find out about the laws and regulations, and I also wanted to engage with the community.”

Derbyshire Police Cadets meet for two hours each week and learn about police procedures and criminal law.

They take part in team-building activity weekends, Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, and inspection and drill.

Cadets also learn about first aid, and take part in crime prevention, local community events, and charity fundraising.

Luke said: “I absolutely loved it. It’s an aspiration to join as a police officer so to represent the Force as a Cadet was amazing.

“I really enjoyed the discipline. The discipline, the drill, the uniform, it’s definitely helped me to become a better person, and the person I am today.

“I really enjoyed engaging with the community as well. That was really rewarding.”

Luke is now doing his initial training as a Special Constable, which covers all aspects of police work, including powers of arrest and officer protection, and develops core skills such as decision-making and self-motivation.

Luke said: “I am really enjoying it, it’s a lot of fun.

“It’s really interesting to learn about all the legislation, laws and regulations, and it’s also good to engage with the practical side of things because that’s where I think I learn better.

“I’m more of a practical learner than an academic learner, so I really enjoy the role plays.”

Luke said that one of the first things he did during his training was to sign up to the Federation. 

Members of the Special Constabulary can now join the Police Federation - after a change in the law under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act - and receive the same level of support and representation as regular officers.

Luke said: “We had someone from the Federation come to talk to us early in our training.

“I, and many others, signed up immediately because of the benefits you get with it.”

READ MORE: More investment in roads policing badly needed says branch chair.


June 2024