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A quick guide to Police Cadets

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#1 OFFLINE   Dragonfly


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Posted 17 October 2004 - 07:25 pm


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).

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Cadet duties

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
  • Expeditions
  • Scenarios
  • 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
Bedfordshire Police
Cleveland Police
Derbyshire Constabulary
Devon & Cornwall Police
Dyfed-Powys Police
Essex Police
Grampian Police
Gwent Police
Hertfordshire Constabulary - Dacorum Volunteer Police Cadets
Hertfordshire Constabulary - Stevenage Volunteer Police Cadets
Lancashire Constabulary
Lincolnshire Police
Merseyside Police
Metropolitan Police
South Yorkshire Police
Sussex 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.

#2 OFFLINE   Dragonfly


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Posted 29 August 2009 - 05:33 pm

All updated with the latest information, FAQs and links - thanks go to okeeg001 who is a cadet with Sussex Police and has provided lots of useful information.

He is now our resident 'expert', so if you have questions feel free to post them in this forum for his attention :)



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Posted 17 June 2011 - 02:22 pm

Hi there,

I thought I'd expand a little on the scheme to which I currenly belong. I'm a Volunteer Police Cadet within the Telford Volunteer Police Cadets (West Mercia Police) We meet every Thursday at our Divisional Headquarters. During these evenings, we will always start with a Parade, during which we march, and our Uniform, Pocket Note Book and I.D. Card is inspected. Then we will have our "Guest Speaker Training". This could be anything from Diversity training, to having the Divisions Drug and Forensics experts talk to use about their roles and demonstrating what it is that they do.

Every month there will also be a number of oppurtunites that we will have to engage in Community-based Policing, (i.e. School fun days etc.) However we can also request to go out on regular patrol with officers, (although rigorous risk-assessments have to be done for this!)

Uniform wise, we are issued with three sets of uniforms;

NUMBER ONE UNIFORM: Is basically the Generic Police Uniform, including the High-Viz, Fleece, Cap, Shirt, Tie and Epaulettes. Obviously, the patches on our uniforms say "VOLUNTEER POLICE CADET" instead of "POLICE" for self-explanatory reasons. This uniform is worn when out on Patrol or on Ceremonial Duties (such as Parades etc.) We also wear a utility belt which has a First-Aid kit and torch.

NUMBER TWO UNIFORM: Is a burgandy-coloured Polo shirt with the Force Crest embroidered on it, worn with our Uniform trousers and boots. This uniform is typically worn during our weekly sessions and less-formal duties (e.g. talking in schools etc.)

SPORTS KIT: Is basically just a force-issued t-shirt, everything else is provided by us.

With all these uniforms we also wear our I.D. Cards, which are issued with a plastic holder and the Force lanyard, and carry our Pocket Note Books, which we maintain everytime we engage in a Cadet Event.

Hope this is of help to you!

#4 OFFLINE   carty23


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Posted 08 July 2011 - 10:18 pm

Having been off the forum for the past month, I have decided to tidy this thread up by:

  • Removing broken links
  • Adding new links to new cadet schemes
  • Posting new pictures of various cadet uniforms
  • Adding 2 extra headings at the end (Difference between E&W/Scotland and the 2 videos)
  • Structuring the content a little with bold headings

I have kept Nicholas' post on here as it is very detailed info on his cadet unit (which may be of use to potential cadets) and it is also very recent and thus up to date.

Edited by carty23, 08 July 2011 - 10:18 pm.

#5 OFFLINE   Chuken



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Posted 26 March 2014 - 09:38 am

Hi there, I am a metropolitan police volunteer cadet corp and I wish to explain some things that may give you an understanding of the differences in more detail. We meet up on wednesdays and thursdays. 1900-2130 we sadly don't have any ID cards so we face a VERY long wait in the main area of the station by the entrance. Imagine a SCO19 officer and dog handlers uniform. Ours is a bit like that excluding the cargo trousers and rest. We get inspected every month by senior officers and our uniform MUST be in tip top condition (polish tips of boots.) I was going to post something here but I thinks its not allowed. (Op condor) Our uniform consists of black boots, navy trousers,navy shirt with a name tag velcro, epaulets with our station code and the amount of bars depending on your rank. 1-dept team leader.2- team leader.3- Dept head cadet.-4- Head cadet. It also consists of a blue VPC band across the epaulets. (Met style epaulets) Sadly we have no hi-vis jackets just a plain navy blue anorak with the metropolitan police volunteer cadets or something like that going across t in a circular motion. Thats pretty much it.

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