The voluntary youth scheme was previously operated across the region until 1998 but, as part of his police and crime plan, the Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) David Jamieson championed its return as a way to develop and sustain positive relationships between the police and the communities of the West Midlands.
The new scheme was launched in September 2017 and initially saw the establishment of groups at schools in Birmingham and Sandwell. This was soon followed in Coventry, Dudley, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
The scheme recruits 13-17 year olds, from a diverse range of backgrounds, and provides them with unique opportunities to gain experience and insights into the force. Unlike its predecessor, this scheme is not a recruitment tool, but is about creating active citizens, engaging with our communities, and giving our young people opportunities to help others and learn new skills.
WMP Cadets are provided with a uniform, are organised into groups of up to 30 members, and are expected to attend unit meetings every week during school term time. There is no charge in being a cadet – everything is supplied for free, including the uniform and any trips.
The scheme currently has over 150 cadets who are supported by more than 40 volunteer leaders. As part of the PCC's vision, we will be doubling the number of groups by May next year. This will mean we have 500 cadets and 100 volunteer leaders involved in the scheme.
Each unit follows a curriculum set by the national body. This is supported by the Volunteer Police Cadets, and you can find out more about the work they do by visiting this link. There are also local initiatives including presentations and demonstrations from specialist units within the police, volunteering in the local community, and deployment at events such as Remembrance Day, Birmingham Pride, and Stephen Lawrence Day.
Cadets will have the opportunity to engage with:
- Firearms Unit
- Forensic Services
- Dog Handlers
- Traffic and Motorway Patrol
- And many others!
Volunteer cadet leaders are key to the success of the scheme. We accept applications from people across our communities who are at least 18 years old and would like to become volunteer leaders. There is no upper age limit, and applications are welcome from all sections of society. Each volunteer will have access to a variety of professional development opportunities and the chance to have a positive influence in the lives of young people. The programme will also provide volunteer leaders with the opportunity to help develop a better understanding between the Police and the communities they represent.
It doesn’t matter where you live or work if you want to volunteer to be a cadet leader. They are needed throughout the region to help support the continued growth and management of the scheme. If you would like more information, please email us, or you can apply by visiting this link.
Please make sure to include details of where you live and your availability. This will help us inform you about opportunities in your area.