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Police Cadets

As a police cadet you will learn about policing, help people in your local community and volunteer alongside police officers and PCSOs at public events.

Avon and Somerset Police Cadets have units in Bristol Central, Patchway and Weston-super-Mare. To be a volunteer police cadet (VPC), you must:

What does a police cadet do

Cadets will pay £8 month in subs. We do not want this to stop any young person from joining the scheme. If you have concerns, talk to us in the application process.

Cadets will have the opportunities to:

  • listen to guest speakers from a wide range of backgrounds, both policing and volunteer services like the RNLI and Coastguard
  • attend personal safety training, learn about first-aid and search techniques, and take part in team-building and social activities
  • support your neighbourhood policing team with reassurance visits and crime prevention leaflet drops
  • support one of the many community events, such as:
    • school fetes
    • Christmas markets
    • Pride events
    • emergency services or armed forces events

This is term-time programme, with optional activities at weekends and in school holidays.

You should attend at least 75% of the sessions to engage with the programme. We track attendance and will raise any concerns with you and your parents or guardians.

Units meet on the following evenings:

  • Bristol Central – Thursdays, 18:45-21:00
  • Patchway – Tuesdays, 19:00-21:00
  • Weston-super-Mare – Thursdays, 19:00-21:00

We welcome applications from all young people, including those who:

  • feel some disconnect with their peers or community
  • have been involved with the police before

Everyone deserves a second chance. We will work with you to help manage any behaviours which may have got you into trouble in the past.

If you have a criminal conviction or know of a family member who has a criminal record, you may still be able to join. You just need to tell us.

We do not run background checks (known as vetting). However, unit leaders will ask you about any previous police involvement at your orientation evening. We just ask you to be honest and open with us.

If you have a disability, we try to be as inclusive as possible. We will always support you to the best of our ability and make any reasonable adjustments for your health and comfort.

What you need

To be a volunteer police cadet, you must:

  • have energy and enthusiasm to help with local policing in your communities
  • want to build positive relationships and take action to tackle real issues
  • be willing to give your time and ideas to take part in volunteering activities in your community
What we offer

You will get a free uniform a few weeks after joining the programme. This needs to be kept clean and returned to us when you leave. We do not provide footwear.

We will give you access to a range of activities and opportunities that help you to:

  • build confidence
  • gain skills and experience
  • enhance your future life opportunities
  • gain insights into policing

All of our cadet activities are risk assessed for health and safety and covered by adequate insurance.

You can gain various qualifications, such as completing a recognised first-aid course.

Recruitment process

To find out how to apply to join the Avon and Somerset Cadets, view our Cadets recruitment process.

Cadet leaders

VPCs meet for two hours once a week during term-time, and have the chance to take part in other activities in support of local policing.

Volunteers within the cadet units have the chance to make a difference and help shape the lives of the young people in their area.

Voluntary roles include cadet leaders and cadet unit administrators.

To see all available roles, view our current volunteer vacancies.


We aim to ensure all cadets are kept safe from harm by:

  • providing parents, guardians or carers with information about what we do and what they can expect from us
  • making sure all adult volunteers are carefully selected and given training appropriate to their supervisory roles
  • providing a means for cadets and parents, guardians or carers to report their concerns if there is anything they are not happy about

For more information, see our Safeguarding Statement (PDF).

Report a safeguarding concern or request to see our policies

Email policecadets@avonandsomerset.police.uk if you:

  • have safety or wellbeing concerns about anyone in our cadets programme
  • want to see copies of our VPC:
    • safeguarding statement
    • anti-bullying statement
    • equality, diversity and inclusion statement
    • online safety and social media statement
    • whistle-blowing statement
    • risk-assessments

Alternatively, you can contact the National Volunteer Police Cadets Safeguarding Manager at vpc.safeguarding@vpc.police.uk

Contact our Talent Acquisition team to make a recruitment-related query.

Stay up to date

Find out about our latest vacancies by registering for our job alert email service, or join our Talent Bank to be contacted about suitable vacancies.

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