In days gone by, most if not all forces operated some sort of cadet scheme. Many's the time now you read in force orders that Superintendent So-and-so or Sergeant Whatsisname has retired from the force after 30 years service, having first joined as a cadet.
These days forces are once again starting to recognise the benefit of encouraging an early interest in the police and there are a small handful of forces which have cadets.
Cadets wear uniform when on duty which (with the exception of footwear in most cases) is provided free of charge. The uniforms differ between forces, but examples are shown below, courtesy of Derbyshire Police (first), Devon & Cornwall Police (second), and Dyfed Powys Police (third).
Cadet duties vary from force to force, but generally, Cadets aren't allowed to patrol so there's not really any chance to get stuck into crime and criminals. In addition, they have no police powers. However, being a Cadet does give you a good grounding in the police culture and gives you a snifter of what it's like to be a copper. Cadets are most often involved with crime prevention initiatives and activities - such as helping out with leaflet drops and property marking. They're also called on to help with local and even national events, for example stewarding at events like the London Marathon. In some areas they can work at the front counter area, dealing with enquiries from members of the public, as well as occasionally at fetes, galas, and conferences.
Other things cadets may do and learn about during their time with the force include:
- Police Procedures and Law
- First Aid
- Crime Prevention
- Self Defence
- Sport and Fitness
- Inspection and Drill
- Riot Training
- Activity Weekends
- Radio Work
- Front office duty
- Community Events
- Some study of a BTEC in Public Serves (Essex)
- Millennium Volunteers certificate (Lancs)
- To develop a volunteering role to assist at the 2012 Olympic Games (Met)
Current cadet schemes
At the time of writing, the forces with a cadet scheme are (click on the link to go to their cadet information page):
Avon & Somerset Constabulary
Devon & Cornwall Police
Hertfordshire Constabulary - Dacorum Volunteer Police Cadets
Hertfordshire Constabulary - Stevenage Volunteer Police Cadets
South Yorkshire Police
West Mercia Police
*Note: Other police forces throughout the UK also operate cadet schemes, such as Strathclyde Police. However, no link has been posted due to the fact that there isn't a page on the official police website for police cadets*
Information about applying for the cadets
- Ages at which you can join the cadets seems to vary between forces, with some accepting people as young as 13, others at 17. In most cases the upper age for cadets is 18 or 19 - at which point they can apply for the specials/regulars - although some forces allow cadets as old as 21.
- You need to live in, or near, the force area to which you apply.
- Applicants must be in good health, conform to a specified eyesight standard and be physically fit.
- Applicants must have leave to enter and remain in the United Kingdom for an indefinite period.
- For most Cadet schemes there are no formal entry requirement to become a cadet, however some forces require you to have 4 GCSE's or equivalent. Applicants to Essex cadets require 3 A-C GCSEs passes, including both English and Mathematics.
- Many forces require some sort of entry test to check an applicant's language abilities, numeric skills and information handling abilities.
- Cadets must not have a criminal record, and this is checked prior to joining during the Vetting Procedure.
Transferring to the Regulars
On reaching 18, cadets who apply to the same force as a regular are likely to get preferential treatment. This may mean they will not be required to re-sit the entrance tests, for example. In all cases, transfer to the regular force is also based on satisfactory progress as a cadet. If cadets do not wish to become a regular police officer, then they can apply for other roles such as police staff, a PCSO or special. They may also wish to help out with the running of the cadet scheme.
Difference between England/Wales and Scotland Police Cadets
Police cadets in England and Wales are volunteers (apart from Essex Police) and therefore do not get paid. Meeting sessions are often hosted in the evenings of a particular weekday, with cadets assisting out at extra events throughout the week or over the weekend. On the other hand, in Scotland, being a police cadet is a full time job. Cadets are paid a salary, and dependent upon the particular police service, may well go out on the beat with police officers.
Edited by carty23, 02 September 2011 - 05:19 PM.