Herts police rolls out new scheme to deal with escaped horses

A NEW police scheme aimed at dealing with stray horses running amok in the neigh-bourhood, is being rolled out across the county.

Officers attend an average of 50 incidents a month of horses straying onto the public highway and they have to go through the time-consuming process of tracing the owner.

To combat the problem Hertfordshire Constabulary have devised a scheme to enable officers to quickly deal with the horse and get back to their other duties.

A trial period ran from May to August in Hertsmere, Broxbourne, East Herts and Three Rivers and was found to drastically cut time spent at the scene.

When officers find a stray horse, usual practice involves trying to trace the owner or find a legitimate location to take it to.

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But now, if the owner can’t be tracked down, there is a new ‘green yard’ facility which will collect the horse and take it to a suitable venue, so officers can swiftly leave the scene and deal with other incidents.

The ‘green yard’ will keep the horse for a maximum of 15 days, during which time officers will make all necessary enquiries to trace the owner.

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The new policy was devised by Inspector Duncan Grieves, Inspector George Holland, the Constabulary’s lead officer on rural affairs and Pc Christopher Jones.

The British Horse Society paid for 20 officers to be trained about horse awareness, welfare and public safety and the Loyal Heath Lodge gave a donation of �1,000 to pay for equipment to help officers catch and control the escaped equines.

Assistant chief constable Stephen Devine said: “I am pleased this practice will be rolled out across the county.

“Stray horses often cause chaos on our main roads and put the public’s lives in danger.

“Thanks to this new procedure officers can quickly remove the horse to a place of safety, drastically reducing the time officers have had to spend dealing with incidents.”

Since the pilot, the team has had a lot of interest from other forces and agencies who would like to develop similar schemes.

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