Charity helps police force tackle rural crime by training mounted officers
By Katy Islip
06 February 2012 09:48
An equine charity is helping tackle rural crime by providing training for five mounted special constables.
World Horse Welfare (WHW) is working with Norfolk Constabulary to assess the officers to make sure their riding skills are up to scratch, and will also assess their mounts, as they will be using their own horses.
The force, which had a mounted branch until the 1920s, will deploy the special constables as part of Operation Randall, an initiative set up to reduce rural crime.
WHW field officer Jacko Jackson, a former police officer with Norfolk Constabulary, will provide the riding competency assessments for the special constables.
He said: “I am really pleased to be assisting with the new initiative. I’m hoping my knowledge and experience of both the Constabulary and World Horse Welfare will prove to be a real asset.
“Re-introducing officers on horseback is a positive move as it allows police officers to be seen in areas of the countryside where they traditionally may have not been seen.
“The horses can also be a magnet for people wanting to come and speak with you which could potentially lead to the disclosure of important information about crime in the area.”
Mr Jackson will deliver the training at the charity’s Hall Farm rescue and rehoming centre in Snetterton, Norfolk, aided by the centre’s assistant manager Justina Smith.
Temporary Chief Superintendent Nick Dean, who leads Operation Randall, said: “The scheme will make a real difference as the specials on horseback will offer a visible and reassuring presence in the local communities where they will be patrolling.
“There is also no additional cost to the Constabulary as the specials would be using their own horses.”
Once their training is complete, the special constables will begin patrolling, initially in the south Norfolk area.
The initiative follows the success of a similar WHW-backed scheme launched in Hertfordshire in 2009.
For more information on the work of WHW and to donate visit www.worldhorsewelfare.org