A WATCHFUL eye will kept from horseback in latest fight against crime in Warwickshire.
A new scheme using horse-riding volunteers to help combat rural crime was launched at Warwickshire College’s Moreton Morrell centre.
The Mounted Police Support Volunteer Scheme is a partnership between Warwickshire Police, the college, the British Horse Society and Horse Watch, and has been funded by Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Ball.
The volunteers will chat with people while out on their regular rides, while also looking out for anything suspicious or requiring police action.
Clothed in high visibility jackets, and with horses equipped with reflective sheets and leg wraps, the volunteers will not have any greater powers of arrest than any other citizen and will not take on the same responsibilities as regular police.
But the horseback volunteers will be the ‘eyes and ears’ for rural communities and will work closely with police teams.
The first six volunteers to successfully complete training were welcomed into the scheme at the launch.
Mr Ball said: “Tackling rural crime is one of my key priorities and I have been a particular champion of this scheme from its outset, so I am delighted to see the first volunteers complete their training and begin their work across Warwickshire.
“With their elevated position on horseback, they have a unique vantage point and can spot many things that someone on foot or in a vehicle might not otherwise be able to see or even be able to get near to. This is all valuable information which might not otherwise come to police attention.”
The Mounted Police Support Volunteer Scheme will run for 12 months before being reviewed.