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From March 2016, communities across Gloucestershire will see police officers on horse back patrolling the local area. 

Two years ago we hosted an international project which shows that horses are a useful tactic for the police, both in terms of reducing crime and serving the public. The pilot now aims to build on that research.

Mounted officers have the same powers and capabilities as any police officer and can contribute to policing in a variety of ways, including operations and targeting offenders. They will be based in Gloucestershire's communities to offer reassurance and advice.

You may have a request for the horses to come to an initiative in your area, if so, you need to email your area point of contact with details of that request. This will then be considered by the force deployment panel. You will be notified of any decision by email.

 

PC Tracy Warburton Mounted Section Officer Tracy.Warburton@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk
PC Paul Wilkins Mounted Section Officer Paul.Wilkins@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk
Mima Manning Mounted Section Equine Manager Mima.Manning@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk
Mounted.Section@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk

 

Frequently asked questions

What can a mounted section do?

The mounted section will deliver a wide range of policing activities; we aim to deploy throughout the county, in a mix of urban and rural areas. The mounted section can be deployed for public engagement events, night time economy, planned, spontaneous and critical incidents, missing persons, intelligence gathering and submissions; all of which will be focused deployments with local priority tasking. 

The officer on board is a fully equipped and empowered Police officers and will continue to perform their role on and off a horse i.e. they can still arrest people/give evidence etc if required. 

How much did the trial cost?

The trail cost £220,448.

What is the anticipated cost of running the mounted section?

It has been budgeted at £144,438 pa, with the aim of making the section as cost neutral as possible through income generation and sponsorship opportunities.

How many horses and riders will you have?

There will be four horses, three police officers, equine manager and groom.

Where are the horses stabled?

The horses are stabled at Highnam Court, near Newent. Police officers and police staff working on the trial are also based there, where minimal office accommodation for the section is located. 

 

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Boris                                                       

Age: 22                                                  

Height: 16.1 hh                                        

Colours: Grey                                          

 

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Teddington                                               Barton

Age: 6                                                     Age: 6 

Height: 16.3 hh                                        Height: 17

Colours: Black                                         Colours: Skewbald

How are you going to replace Huntsman and how much will it cost?

We are looking throughout the country to find a suitable replacement for Huntsman. We have a budget of £5,000.

Where will the new horse be trained?

We will train the new horse ourselves.

How long will it take?

Between six months and two years.

What training do the horses receive?

Boris and Huntsman are fully experienced in their role and will quickly become accustomed to working in Gloucestershire.

However, horses new to policing take anything from 6 months to 2 years to adapt to all aspects of police work depending on their temperament and experience before joining the police.

Who looks after the horses when the mounted officers or police staff aren't there?

Highnam Court Equine provide professional equine services, this covers all daily care and welfare needs of the horses, as well as other related facilities and services, such as, tack cleaning, clipping and deployment preparation. It is important to note that the mounted officers are first and foremost police officers and so any additional animal care requirements, although important for officers to understand, are not their primary focus on the section. 

The plan is to stay at Highnam Court for the foreseeable future.

How much time off do the horses get?

The horses will be working for approx. 4 days per week, with 3 days rest. Younger police horses can work 5-6 days per week.

How many riders are there?

Currently, we have a total of two trained officers.

What training do the riders receive?

The riders will be required to successfully complete the Standard Equitation Certificate (SEC), the national mounted police minimum standard. All mounted officers must complete their SEC in order to be signed off for independent mounted deployment. It can take up to 16 weeks training for an officer to compete the SEC. 

I have heard that we have borrowed a horse lorry from Avon & Somerset Police, if that’s true, who is driving the horse lorry?

Yes, we have a loan agreement with Avon & Somerset Police in regards to a horse lorry for the trial. Police officers and staff on the section, with the appropriate LGV licence will drive it. We will train those that don’t already hold this licence if appropriate. 

We intend to buy the horse box from Avon and Somerset at a cost of £65,000.

What personal protective equipment will mounted officers wear?

The same as any operational police officer, so, body armour, PAVA spray, handcuffs and asp. Mounted officers will not carry Tasers or firearms. 

What can you do with four horses?

We envisage that we can deliver five days a week operational policing in a variety of ways including patrol, community events, neighbourhood policing and streetsafe.

What hours can they work? I have heard they can't work after 4pm

Police horses can work any time of the day or night and take their rest periods in between shifts just like humans, they also take a block of 2-4 weeks holiday a year.

Do you have any plans to expand the unit beyond the proposed four horses and five staff?

The horses are stabled at Highnam Court, near Newent. Police officers and police staff working on the mounted section are also based there, where minimal office accommodation for the section is located. 

 

undefined                                    

Boris                                                       

Age: 22                                                  

Height: 16.1 hh                                        

Colours: Grey                                          

 

 undefined                             undefined 

Teddington                                               Barton

Age: 6                                                     Age: 6 

Height: 16.3 hh                                        Height: 17

Colours: Black                                         Colours: Skewbald

Page last updated: 23 August 2017