Number: C2100 Date Published: 18 December 2020 Version 3 – December 2020
1.0 Summary of Changes
This policy has undergone its 2 yearly review. The only addition is within section 2 where reference is made, and a link given, to the new National VPC Safeguarding Policy.
2.0 What this Policy is About
This policy introduces the Essex Volunteer Police Cadet Scheme. It is based on the National Volunteer Police Cadet (VPC) Manual of Guidance and follows the National VPC framework.
Following its launch in 2015, Essex Police now has 13 VPC units throughout the County.
The VPC will help Essex Police to meet its aims around young people, reducing youth offending and youth vulnerability to crime, and achieving effective police-led diversion and engagement. Engaging and interacting with young people in a positive way will help to break down barriers, improve our relationship with them and improve trust and confidence. The VPC is a progressive programme, providing many opportunities to listen to the voices of and engage effectively with local young people, which will ultimately assist in improving confidence in policing.
See the National VPC Safeguarding policy which has been adopted by the Force.
Compliance with this policy and any linked procedures is mandatory.
3.0 Statement of Policy
The National VPC is the ACPO recognised framework for police forces, which is intended to assist forces to deliver a cost effective and rewarding Volunteer Police Cadet programme to all involved.
The overriding principal of this policy is that THE SAFETY OF THE CADET IS PARAMOUNT.
3.1 Aims and Objectives
To reduce youth vulnerability to crime in Essex and provide opportunity for young people to participate positively in their communities.
Prevent and reduce youth offending in Essex in support of the Police & Crime Plan;
Promote a practical understanding of policing amongst young people;
Support local policing priorities through volunteering;
Improve public confidence in policing.
Engage with young people between 13 and 18 years of age;
Provide opportunity for early intervention and diversion to youths who are vulnerable due to crime, exclusion or abuse;
Include a minimum of 25% cadets from vulnerable backgrounds;
Improve community confidence in the Police by ensuring cadets represent the diversity of their service area;
Give young people from Essex a voice in policing;
Provide volunteering hours in support of local policing objectives (3 hours per cadet per week).
For VPC purposes, the definition of vulnerable is:
Vulnerable to crime:
Vulnerable to committing crime due to domestic influences, social influences or peer pressure;
Vulnerable to re-offending;
Vulnerable to being a victim of crime;
Vulnerable to the effects of fear of crime.
Vulnerable to exclusion:
Vulnerable to social exclusion through disability, language barriers (inc. dyslexia etc), cultural barriers, isolation or commitment (young carers etc);
Vulnerable to financial exclusion;
Vulnerable to educational exclusion.
Vulnerable to Abuse:
Emotional, physical, sexual or psychological; OR for any reason may not achieve all of the following:
Enjoy and achieve;
Make a positive contribution;
Achieve economic well-being.
The VPC is designed to provide a safe environment in which young people can learn as individuals, develop positive relationships with the police, and actively support their community. The aim is to prepare young people for their future by providing varied activities and opportunities to develop qualifications, enhance inter-personal skills and confidence, and achieve a sense of pride through supporting community policing.
The VPC programme is intended to enhance Cadets’ opportunities for further education, employment and training. The VPC is not a recruitment ground for the Police Service, and any Cadet cannot be guaranteed further employment or involvement in the organisation. However, as much support and guidance as possible will be offered to Cadets with an interest in an adult role in the Police Service, and Cadets will be actively encouraged to return to the VPC as volunteers and mentors after they leave, where appropriate.
The VPC is an inclusive organisation and Cadets represent the diversity of the Force.
The governance of Essex VPC is driven by National Volunteer Police Cadets along with a strategic board comprising members from Essex Police and wider community safety partners such as CSP managers and Youth Offending Teams.
Three pilot VPC sites were launched during 2015 at Chelmsford, Epping & Southend. Following evaluation of these pilot sites the scheme has now been extended to units covering the whole County.
4.0 Implications of the Policy
4.1 Finance / Staffing / Training / Other
Initial funding of the VPC programme is through grants secured from the National VPC programme, which fund the set-up costs for each Unit. Further funding has been obtained from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the existing 2SMART4drugs budget.
The programme is being delivered by the Force VPC Coordinator post, Citizens in Policing Team.
Volunteer Leaders for each of the 3 pilot site Units are being recruited from within the organisation and will be a mix of Police officers and staff. Employees volunteering for these roles are being afforded 2 hours of duty time per week (to a maximum of 100 per year), to be matched by at least an equivalent number of volunteering hours.
Training for Volunteer Leaders is organised through the Force VPC Coordinator.
4.2 Risk Assessment(s)
A risk assessment for Cadet regarding any planned cadet event including consultation and site visits and how to conduct these risk assessments can be found within C 2101 Procedure – Volunteer Police Cadets – Recruitment.
4.3 Equality Impact Assessment
EIA – December 2020
The following have been consulted during the formulation of this document:
Health & Safety;
Risk & Policy Advisor
Equality and Diversity Co-ordinator
Strategic Change Team - Superintendent
6.0 Monitoring and Review
This policy will be reviewed every two years by the Force VPC Coordinator on behalf of the owner.
7.0 Related Force policies or related procedures
C 2101 Procedure – Volunteer Police Cadets – Recruitment
C 2102 Procedure – Volunteer Police Cadet Units
C 2103 Procedure – VPC – Administration and Communication
C 2104 Procedure – VPC – Operations, Events and Court Attendance
C 2105 Procedure – VPC – Trips and Duke of Edinburgh Award
X 2001 Procedure – Provision of Uniform and Equipment
C 0602 Procedure – Standards of Appearance
B 2505 Procedure – Dealing with Vulnerable and Intimidated Witnesses within the Criminal Justice System
G 0600 Policy - Managing External Media
C 3011 Procedure – Private Use of Social Media Websites
D 2000 Policy - Safe Driving
D 2001 Procedure – Safe Driving and General Driving Requirements
7.1 Data Security
Essex Police have measures in place to protect the security of your data in accordance with our Information Management Policy – W 1000 Policy – Information Management.
7.2 Retention & Disposal of Records
Essex Police will hold data in accordance with our Records Review, Retention & Disposal Policy – W 1012 Procedure/SOP - Records Review, Retention and Disposal
We will only hold data for as long as necessary for the purposes for which we collected. Victims/public should be reminded that Essex Police take the protection of personal data seriously as described in the privacy notice.
8.0 Other source documents, e.g. legislation, Authorised Professional Practice (APP), partnership agreements (if applicable)
National Volunteer Police Cadet Manual of Guidance