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Police Cadets

Aged between 13 and 18-years-old and want to know more about policing? Then Police Volunteer Cadets could be for you. You will be provided with a uniform and undertake a structured training programme during weekly meetings before an attestation and passing out parade. Cadets will be given a unique insight into policing with the opportunity to visit different departments such as the Air Support Unit, Dog Section and Roads Policing.

National VPC

The Volunteer Police Cadets is the nationally recognised police uniformed youth group throughout the UK. The purpose of the VPC is not to recruit police officers of the future, but to encourage the spirit of adventure and good citizenship amongst its members. The VPC believe that every young person deserves the opportunity to thrive regardless of his or her background, and encourage young people from all backgrounds to join the VPC, including those who may be vulnerable to the influences of crime and social exclusion.


Find out more at the National VPC website: https://vpc.police.uk/



The Role

Cadets are between the ages of 13 and 18 and attend weekly meetings of around two hours with their local cadet group during term time.

Guided by a volunteer cadet leader (who is either a member of police staff, special constable, PCSO, police officer or civilian volunteer), cadets undertake a structured training programme, and will reach a range of learning milestones before an attestation and passing out parade.

Cadets are provided with a uniform and are taught how to be disciplined and independent , with many carry out basic drill practices.

The activities carried out at meetings each week differ amongst forces but include inputs on law and a variety of policing areas. There are lots of opportunities to visit different departments within constabularies such as the Air Support Unit, Dog Section, Firearms Unit, Roads Policing and Scenes of Crime unit.

Schemes are also structured to allow volunteers to earn awards and qualifications such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award

Cadets are expected to volunteer an average of three hours per month working in their communities on crime prevention and social action projects.  These include helping local officers with leaflet drops, crime prevention initiatives and test purchasing operations, or assisting with local events such as carnivals, county shows and remembrance parades.

Cadets between the ages of 16 and 18 can take active roles in mentoring the younger group members by becoming cadet leaders and have the chance to work towards a formal policing qualification.

Those aged 18+ are also offered training in leadership, communication and presentation skills to enter the next stage of their volunteer journey by becoming a cadet Leader.

Why become a cadet?

At the very heart of the cadet scheme is a sense of community and citizenship.  Cadets have an opportunity like no other to develop skills, learn, take part in exciting events and most importantly, have fun!

The national scheme now offers an accredited curriculum, providing evidence for CVs and skills to improve employability. It provides the chance to meet new people, helps individuals make positive life choices and enables them to influence the shape of their community.

Cadets are invited to take part in exciting events and to take on challenges with other constabularies. Some forces even offer the chance to participate in projects and events overseas.

Who can apply?

Any young person can apply after their 13th birthday.  Each police force has their own application criteria but all aim to be as inclusive as possible and to represent all areas of their communities.

Cadets are from all walks of life and the national scheme aims to make up 25% of its membership from those from vulnerable backgrounds.

Some forces will require applicants to go through a vetting process, please enquire with your local force for details.

Submit an application of interest on the National VPC website: https://vpc.police.uk/be-a-cadet/application-of-interest/

Self confidence
Communication Skills
Decision Making
The ability to remain calm under pressure

I am polish so can speak my native language, which can help with translation and communication with polish community groups.  I believe I am quite an open person, which allows me to connect and communicate with people easily.  Also, because I’m studying for A-levels, I have developed good problem-solving skills.

Wiktoria Faron

I have been with the cadets (as a cadet and as a cadet leader) for four years and I have gained a lot of confidence in my own ability and in my understanding of policing and the work of GMP. I have also learned about different management styles and ways of teaching to get the best out of the younger cadets.

Rob Slater

The best thing I have gained is discipline; it has really helped me change my behaviour for the better. When I started, my behaviour was unpredictable and challenging for the leaders, and I didn’t regularly attend.  I now never miss a session and have been promoted to cadet leader.  I have been able to do things I never thought I would do, for example, riot training with specialist riot police and taking part in the Iron Team Challenge with cadets from forces across the UK.

Kamaal Khaliq

As a cadet you get the chance to take part in a wide range of activities including camping, first aid, survival skills, award schemes such as Jack Petchey and Duke of Edinburgh, learning about the law, leafleting in communities and test purchasing. Test purchasing involves going into a shop undercover with a trading standards officer and a police officer to buy ‘over 18’ items. This particular activity makes shop keepers more aware of the potential danger of selling tobacco, alcohol and knives to underage costumers to reduce anti-social behaviour and knife crime.

Brandon Hylton

Being a cadet involves attending a weekly session. For me it is a Thursday evening.  Every week we have an input on law and once a month we have a sports night. Sometimes we have talks from officers or staff from policing areas such as the Dog Unit. We have visits to police departments such as the custody centre and we assist at local events such as the Suffolk show and music festivals.

Amy Laidler

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