This paper aims to consider the training provided to Volunteer Police Cadet (VPC) Leaders in police forces across England and Wales who, as part of the wider policing volunteer family, lead organised youth development activities for uniformed police cadets.
An online ethically approved questionnaire was administered to volunteer leaders across six VPC schemes hosted by police forces in England and Wales. The sample population being selected due to their geographical spread across both nations, along with the similarities of their VPC schemes. The questionnaire collected demographic information of respondents, then used a blend of closed questions. Likert scales and free text boxes to explore attitudes.
The training for the volunteer leaders seems to focus on the mandated elements provided to protect the cadets from harm and also the organisation from litigation. With little development of additional knowledge, skills and behaviours (and in some cases required qualifications) to enhance the service and opportunities delivered to the young people by the volunteers.
Due in part to the limited response rate, this research cannot claim to be representative of all individuals engaged in this voluntary role; it does however provide insights into the training of such volunteers.
The research informs the decision makers of how the training of volunteer cadet leaders within forces seems to focus on the completion of the mandatory elements, with little further development of the volunteers to deliver both varied and challenging activities for the cadets.
The research provides an insight for decision makers on how the training of volunteer cadet leaders within forces seems to focus on the mandatory elements, with few opportunities for further development of volunteer leaders to deliver new, varied and challenging activities for the cadets.
Pepper, I. and Rogers, C. (2022), "Valuing volunteers: emerging trends in the training of Volunteer Police Cadet Leaders", Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCRPP-06-2022-0022
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