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From March 2016, communities across Gloucestershire will see police officers on horse back patrolling the local area. This is a trial to see how mounted officers can best work to serve our county and how they can work alongside the rest of our force.

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.

We want to hear what you think

We envisage that the trial will increase levels of trust and confidence in the police and the aim of the trial is to find out how effective mounted officers could be in Gloucestershire. As such, the trial is being monitored and research will continue over the coming months. We also want to hear what our communities think and we would welcome any feedback.

Please provide your views via this short survey here

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.

 

Area

Point Of Contact

Emails

Stroud

PS Elizabeth Lovell

Elizabeth.Lovell@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk

Gloucester

PCSO Claire Long

Claire.Long@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk

Forest

PS Sara Sleeman

PCSO Natalie Lang

Sara.Sleeman@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk

Natalie.Lang@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk

Tewkesbury

PC Claire Murray 

PS Chris Barnes

Claire.Murray@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk

Christopher.Barnes@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk

Cotswold

Insp Karen Ellis

Sgt Andy Wood 777

Karen.Ellis@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk

Andrew.Wood@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk

Cheltenham

PS Dave Satchwell

PC Sarah Flowers

David.Satchwell@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk

Sarah.Flowers@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk

Special Constabulary

SC Kirsty Drew

Kirsty.Drew@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 will the trial cost?

The trial will cost approximately £195,000.

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. 

 

undefined  undefined                                          

Boris                                                       Huntsman

Age: 22                                                   Age: 20

Height: 16.1 hh                                        Height: 17hh   

Colours: Grey                                          Colours: Grey

 

 undefined                             undefined 

Teddington                                               Barton

Age: 6                                                     Age: 6 

Height: 16.3 hh                                        Height: 17

Colours: Black                                         Colours: Skewbald

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.

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.

How many riders are there?

We want Gloucestershire officers to be part of the trial and as such have recruited internally from our pool of police constables. Currently, we have a total of two trained officers.

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. 

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. 

What is the long term plan?

If the trial is a success then we will be looking to implement a permanent mounted section to Gloucestershire.

How are you measuring success?

The trial will be fully tested and measured against public satisfaction and confidence levels by our Continuous Improvement Team. The public will be surveyed to gauge their opinions and we will undertake a comprehensive review to ensure that we provide genuine business benefits and value for money. If the trial is not successful in proving its worth, then the Constabulary is not committed to continuing with it.

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 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.

Boris and Huntsman will work on average four shifts a week, earlies, lates and evenings.

How many horses are there?

We currently have four horses, Boris and Huntsman on loan from the Metropolitan Police for the period of the trial and Teddington and Barton who have recently joined us as new recruits and have commenced training. 

Why are we having a mounted trial?

The aim of the trial is to enable us to improve public confidence, potentially generate income through mutual aid and to enhance the Constabulary's operation capabilities and capacity. Research has shown that using Mounted Police for high visibility patrols and community engagement can have a positive impact on many of the drivers that influence public confidence in the Police Service. By improving public confidence, we see an increase in cooperation and confidence to disclose information and report crimes, therefore helping us to keep the public safe from harm by tackling issues that affect and matter most to communities. Our horses draw crowds of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds.

As the organisation continues to shrink, using resources in a way that resonates with the public is particularly important. From recent public consultations that the public find visible and engaging patrols, and neighbourhood policing within their local area as the most important police responsibilities. Mounted patrols will be part of our neighbourhood policing model and will work alongside other neighbourhood officers in communities most in need of seeing us. They will also bring a reassuring presence to officers confronting potentially violent situations when policing our busy night-time economy.

How long is the trial?

The trial will last for 12 months.

Page last updated: 24 January 2017