Disgraced former Norfolk police officer had been involved in army cadets

Neal Porter.

Former Norfolk police officer Neal Porter was formerly involved in the Norfolk Army Cadets. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

The shockwaves of a former response officer's fall from grace have not just been felt in the police service but also among military cadets in the county too.

Former Wymondham-based police officer Neal Porter, 32, was jailed for two years after having previously  admitted taking an indecent image of a child, distributing an image of a child and three counts of making an indecent image of a child.

But as well as being a police officer Porter had been a former adult volunteer in the Norfolk Army Cadets having started as a cadet in 2003.

Porter was a cadet until August 2007 and an adult volunteer between 2008 and September 2020.

Former police officer Neale Porter who has been jailed after he admitted indecent images offences.

Former police officer Neale Porter who has been jailed after he admitted indecent images offences. - Credit: Brittany Woodman, Archant Norfolk.

A former army cadet based at Watton, who did not want to be named, recalled Porter during his time there and admitted the offences had come out of the blue.

The former cadet, now in his 30s, said: "It's come as a shock to everyone. He's got a lot of friends.

"On the whole he was a very popular guy. He did a lot of good work.

"He was an officer, he was responsible for young cadets and he would've had a level of oversight and access to children which is quite shocking given what has come to light.

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"It's a big shock - all your trust is ruined in people."

Although he said Porter was a popular guy, he remembered if [Porter] did not like people "they quickly got treated badly by everyone else".

The Norfolk Army Cadet Force (NACF) confirmed Porter was a cadet and adult volunteer and said his recruitment followed the "same rigorous process as all others".

A spokesman said he provided them with a clear DBS certificate at the time of joining and that it had to be reviewed every five years thereafter.

He said that "at no stage in his ACF membership as an adult volunteer did his behaviour give the organisation concern for his ability to safeguard children correctly in accordance with both our safeguarding policy and the annual safeguarding refresher training he received each year".

The spokesman insisted the NACF has "no intention of undertaking a review of Porter's time as an adult volunteer with the organisation as we have every confidence in our organisation's robust safeguarding procedures".

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