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Volunteer Police Cadets fulfil pledge to double membership to 10,000 young people
At the Buckingham Palace launch of the cross party #IWill campaign which aims to get more young people involved in social action, the National Volunteer Police Cadets (National VPC) pledged to support police forces to double the membership to 10,000 by 2020. 
 
The National VPC Team are pleased to announce that, with the support of police forces and grants from the Youth United Foundation this challenging pledge has been achieved in just over two years.
 
One of the key aims of the VPC programme is to involve a diverse group of young people and membership across the country stands at 32 per cent of the cadets from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. Each Cadet unit is also expected to have at least 25 per cent of their members from crime-vulnerable backgrounds, who with the support of peer role models develop positive lifestyles.
 
Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, the National police Chief Council lead said: “As we see this amazing growth in Volunteer Police Cadet numbers across the country, I am confident that for the first time, the UK police have a recognised and consistent programme of Volunteer Police Cadets.”
 
Ed Sherry, the National VPC Programme Director said: “This expansion of cadet numbers has been overseen by a small dedicated national team supported by grants from the Youth United Foundation. We believe that with the correct infrastructure, membership could increase to 28,000 cadets. As each cadet is expected to volunteer three hours every month, it would see the young people volunteering more than a million hours every year in support of their communities.”
 
Having welcomes to new cadet units in 2015 (East Herts and Broxbourne) Hertfordshire now has 10 groups across the county incorporating 265 cadets.
 
The Herts programme has undergone several changes in recent years to ensure a standardised approach across all groups. Chief officers took on the control of the cadets three years ago and, since then, groups have signed up to the NVPC curriculum and have introduced a standard code of conduct and agreements for all cadets.
 
Two representatives, one from North Herts and one from St Albans and Harpenden, were selected to attend the inaugural regional leadership course last Autumn.
 
With the cadet programme proving so successful, there are hopes to increase the capacity of groups and open additional ones in the near future.
Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: “I am delighted that the Volunteer Cadet scheme continues to go from strength to strength here in Hertfordshire, and this pledge cements our intention to build and grow on this success looking ahead. As a member of the National Volunteer Police Cadets scheme, I fully endorse encouraging Cadets to develop a practical understanding of policing and support any scheme that inspires young people to contribute positively to their communities.  The ‘#IWill’ campaign signifies a local and national commitment to grow Cadet uptake and supporting local policing priorities through volunteering.”

For more information about Hertfordshire’s Cadet programme visit www.herts.police.uk/cadets