Dagenham air cadets cancel weekend fundraiser after Woolwich murder raises safety fears

RAF Air Cadets

RAF Air Cadets - Credit: Archant

Air cadets have cancelled a planned fundraiser at a local supermarket in order to keep a low-profile following the terrorist attack in Woolwich, London.

The RAF Air Cadets from Dagenham’s 2048 Squadron were due to help customers with their bag-packing at Sainsbury’s supermarket, Chadwell Heath, this weekend in a bid to raise money for their unit.

However they have pulled out after receiving advice from defence authorities to maintain a “low-profile”, having been set to appear in uniform at checkout tills in the store.

Officer Commanding Stuart Coleman said: “We have had to cancel due to the recent security issues that have been raised.

“We have had instruction that we shouldn’t be doing anything in a high-profile capacity.”

Military personnel were advised not to wear their uniforms outside of military bases in the immediate aftermath of the murderous attack on 25-year-old soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich on Wednesday.

However as the attack is believed to have been an isolated incident these precautions have since been lifted.

Most Read

An MOD spokesman said: “A decision has been taken to relax some of these temporary measures imposed (on Wednesday), including advice to members of the Armed Forces in London not to wear uniform outside of defence establishments.

“The best way we can defeat terrorism is to carry on as normal and that includes our personnel wearing their uniform.”

Ron Coleman, Chairman of the welfare and sports committee for Dagenham’s 2048 RAF Air Cadet’s Squadron, said however that putting cadets at risk was not the same as full-grown soldiers.

He said: “We can’t do that with cadets. They are only from the age of 13 to 21. We can’t take youngsters down and put them at risk of anything that might happen.

“It’s different if it is army forces, we have got to think of the cadets’ welfare so unfortunately it has had to be cancelled.”

The fundraising exercise is due to be rescheduled for a later date.