I do not intend to delay the Committee for long on this matter, but I want to take the opportunity to note the important role of cadets in recruitment to the British Transport police. Will the Minister confirm that cadets serve a form of apprenticeship? The idea is to catch youngsters, give them a training and, one hopes, a 30-year career with the British Transport police. Will the Minister tell us whether the numbers of police cadets with the British Transport police are rising, falling or remaining the same?
Quite simply, police cadets fulfil an important role for the Home Office police forces, allowing those forces to employ new recruits with a view to their becoming constables of the force in the future and having a full career in the police. It provides an excellent entry point for many capable youngsters. However, the British Transport police were previously unable to recruit police cadets because they were not covered by the relevant provision in the Police Act 1996. Clause 25 will allow the authority formally to employ police recruits for the British Transport police, and I commend it to the Committee.