May 19 2013 Latest news:
Sara Odeen-Isbister , Reporter
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Kemal Korkurt, 19 is a member of the Police Cadets, a neighbour hood watch officer, an estate representative, and works as a Metropolitan Police volunteer. He also studies public service at college. Last month the former Barking Abbey student won the Outstanding Contribution prize at the Barking and Dagenham Peace Awards. He lives in Loftus Road, Barking with his parents.
I got involved with police cadets when I was about 15. I lacked confidence and thought it might help.
It did – in fact, joining the cadets was a life-changing experience for me.
I’ve made so many friends and have ended up feeling like I am part of a big family.
I’ve also been given the chance to do a lot of fantastic things, like taking part in the Horse Guards’ parade at the Royal Wedding, and the Lord Mayor’s Show.
On top of this, I’ve learnt about stuff a police officer needs to know, like how to deal with anti-social behaviour and how and why stop and searches are carried out.
Before being part of the police cadets I didn’t have a huge amount of respect for the police, but now I do and would love to be a policeman one day.
Another big part of my life is my work as a neighbourhood watch officer in the Tenner Street area of Barking.
The role involves speaking to residents about any issues they have and trying to get these issues resolved by talking to either the police or councillors.
When I first started, there was a long list of issues – it was a little overwhelming. But I started working through them and one by one they were sorted.
We managed to get parking permits for residents after people using the station started parking there – that felt like an achievement.
I keep my phone on 24/7 so people can call me whenever they want.
Through my involvement with neighbourhood watch I feel like I’ve helped bring the community together. Hardly anyone in the area used to talk to each other but now they do.
I want to arrange events that will get people together even more, for example, a street party next year to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee.
Some of the older generation said there hadn’t been a street party around Tenner Street for donkey’s years so it will be great to bring the good old days back to the area.
Being so involved in the community has made me really enjoy living in Barking and I can definitely say I’m proud to come from here.