This film is part of Free

Police Cadet

A young police recruit arrives in his platform shoes to become a police officer having climbed cliffs, learnt judo, driven a tractor, used a theodolite and done an assault course.

Amateur film 1973 33 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


How training to become a police officer has changed since this comprehensive film of residential cadet training in Durham in 1973. Here we have an almost military type training programme: rock climbing, canoeing, judo and obstacle courses are all part of the course, together with two weeks with the fire brigade and driving tractors on a farm: a long way from developing team and community relations skills.

The Police Cadet pathway as an apprenticeship to become a police constable was phased out in the 1990s (except in Scotland), replaced by a volunteer youth cadet scheme. Perhaps surprisingly, there are still no formal educational requirements for entry to the police service, although the kinds of training involved have changed considerably. Rather than rock climbing and other outdoor pursuits, starter training consists of first aid, health and safety, officer safety, ICT, race and diversity, human rights and community safety strategy. The training centre at Aykley Heads was closed in 2006 when initial training was de-regionalised and became non-residential.