The Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC) started in London in 1988. Now there’s a VPC unit in every borough and it’s a central component of the Met’s youth outreach.
The success of the VPC is based on research identifying what’s effective in working with young people from a wide range of backgrounds, including those at risk of offending. This research suggests the following four principles, which are central to how the VPC works:
- Developing ‘social citizens’ using the latest ideas in pro-social modelling
- Creating a warm, supportive and enthusiastic youth community with a welcoming approach
- Providing effective peer, leader and role model guidance using proven techniques
- Inspiring community involvement using restorative problem solving approaches
All walks of life
By linking with other Met youth engagement projects such as Met-Track, together with greater links to the Prince’s Trust, we aim to identify and engage with young people from all walks of life who are at risk from crime and social exclusion.
Every member of the VPC has the chance to gain Duke of Edinburgh Awards, together with accredited skills across a wide range of activities, providing them with greater opportunities to obtain education, employment and training.
Typical activities carried out by the VPC might include:
- Local crime prevention initiatives, including leaflet deliveries and phone marking
- Stewarding at events
- 'Mystery Shopper' operations to detect underage sales of fireworks, alcohol and knives
- Helping at large, high profile events such as the London Marathon, Trooping the Colour or Remembrance Sunday