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Cadet recruitment is currently closed. 

What are police cadets?

The scheme aims to give young people between the ages of 13 and 17 the opportunity to develop their qualities and skills through a structured programme and to enhance the relationship between the public and police. Cumbria Police Cadets come from all of our diverse communities, irrespective of their background or financial circumstances, and including those vulnerable to crime or social exclusion.
The Volunteer Police Cadet programme offers a fantastic variety of opportunities to the young people involved, many of which would otherwise be well beyond their expectations.

What does a police cadet do?

Cadets will be trained by police officers, staff and Police Support Volunteers. Cadets will learn about the law and the specialist police departments as well as taking part in drills and inspections. Cadets take part in neighbourhood policing initiatives, plus community activities and events. 

Preparing for your future

The aim is to prepare young people for their future by providing varied activities and opportunities to develop qualifications, enhance inter-personal skills and confidence, and achieve a sense of pride through supporting community policing.

Safe and secure environment

Providing a safe and secure environment where young people can meet with others, learn about policing and policing issues, contribute to community initiatives and have fun is at the heart of the experience provided through the volunteer police cadets. The public expect and deserve to have trust and confidence in their police and this is even more so when this comes to protecting children and young people in our care when participating in activities organised by the police service.

Whilst Cumbria Constabulary is part of the national movement, we manage our own risk in relation to the safety of our cadets and leaders. We expect all our police officers, police staff and adult volunteers who support cadet units, to uphold the highest standards in child safeguarding, protection and supervision. As part of this, all adult volunteers are checked and vetted by the Constabulary prior to being able to participate and support cadet unit activities as well as enhanced DBS checks.

Cumbria Constabulary follow the national safeguarding framework that has been agreed by National Police Chiefs' Council and all Chief Constables have signed up to adopting. This offers a streamlined and consistent approach to the reporting and managing of safeguarding concerns, the recruitment of leaders, training, organising activities and beyond. This ensures that everyone involved in VPC knows what is expected of them at a local and national level and that confidential reporting and investigation is done in a consistent manner.

We work alongside the National Safeguarding Manager who is responsible for maintaining contact with police forces about this critical responsibility and about the standards and codes of conduct expected at a national level so that we can continue to work towards providing the safest and highest level of standards of youth safeguarding available nationally.

If you or anyone you know has any concerns about the safety of anyone involved in the Volunteer Police Cadets you can report via the following means:

Professional standards: PSD-ACUIntel@cumbria.police.uk or alternatively you can contact the VPC National Safeguarding Manager for advice vpc.safeguarding@vpc.police.uk

Cumbria Constabulary Safeguarding Lead for VPC– Superintendent St. Quintin - Daniel.StQuintin@cumbria.police.uk

Other points of contact are:-

The NSPCC helpline 0800 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk

The Independent Office for Police Conduct 0300 020 0096 or cadets@policeconduct.gov.uk

Whilst you don’t have to want to join the police, being a police cadet gives you a valuable insight into policing, see the video of one of our first cadets who made it as a Police constable and how cadets helped him in that journey.
About the Volunteer Police Cadets

The Volunteer Police Cadets have an agreed, overarching framework within which police forces across the UK operate their cadet schemes. The Volunteer Police Cadets is the nationally recognised police uniformed youth group throughout England & Wales and in Scotland known as Police Scotland Youth Volunteers. Whilst being a national movement, all forces work to a national standard, whilst ensuring local volunteer police cadets operate flexibly in local police forces with individual forces being responsible for their delivery. The sharing of good practice and learning is encouraged at a national level. The police officers, police staff and adult volunteers who support cadet units are expected, to uphold the highest standards in line with the values of British policing. The National VPC is a part of the wider National Citizens in Policing portfolio. All forces operate under the National Police Chiefs' Council supported framework, sharing the common Aims and Principles of the VPC across England & Wales.

Further information can be found on the VPC website:

Home | Volunteer Police Cadets (vpc.police.uk)

Take a look at some of what cadets get up to, in the classroom but also out in the community!
Cadet locations

Cadets are held at the following locations during term time only between 18:00- 20:00hrs:

Kendal – Monday evening
Barrow – Tuesday evenings
Workington – Tuesday evenings
Penrith - Wednesday evenings
Carlisle – Thursday evenings

Cadet Leaders

**We are not currently hiring Cadet Leaders, however, if you are interested please register your details with the Citizens in Policing Team – CiP@cumbria.police.uk**

Are you a person who wants to inspire and develop young people along with developing your own skills? Cumbria Police Cadets are seeking volunteer cadet leaders to help 100 young people aged 13-17 years across the county.

If you have evenings and some weekends free and you are a willing and committed person, we would like to hear from you. We are currently looking for leaders for the whole county. Being a leader is one of the most rewarding things you will do!

Our cadet units parade on the following nights:

Monday – Kendal Police Station
Tuesday – Barrow Police Station
Tuesday – Workington Police Station
Wednesday – Police HQ, Penrith
Thursday – Carlisle Police Station

Full training will be provided to new cadet leaders.


Cadet FAQs

Yes, all police volunteer cadets will be issued with a free cadet uniform including boots. Details issued upon joining.

You need to be between your 13th Birthday and your 17th Birthday.

No charge will be made for the cadets.

If you are older than 18 you can volunteer to be a Cadet Leader.

Any young person will be considered. Previous offending will not necessarily be a reason to exclude a young person, but it may mean you will need to be spoken to prior to joining to determine your commitment not to reoffend. All applicants undergo background checks for their safety and that of the VPC Leaders and public.

The Volunteer Police Cadet scheme will give you an insight into policing and will help you to make career choices. However, membership is not a guaranteed route to becoming a Police Officer or any other employment within a Police Service.

Cadets meet weekly and it is expected that you will attend all sessions. Education will always come first. You will also be asked to attend activities and events outside of the regular meetings and attendance is highly recommended.

Cadets at 18 years old must leave but can become a police volunteer with the unit, however it is recommended that they leave their own unit for three months to show a break between being a cadet and becoming staff.

No! Our scheme is open to all young people regardless of their career ambitions or capabilities.