Meet Robbie the new weapon in Suffolk Police’s fight against rural crime

Sarah Hills is one of the latest special recruits for the Police Horseback division. She is to be ba

Sarah Hills is one of the latest special recruits for the Police Horseback division. She is to be based with her horse, Robbie, in the Beccles and Bungay area.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Meet the new face of Suffolk's 'neigh-bourhood' watch.

Sarah Hills is one of the latest special recruits for the Police Horseback division. She will be pat

Sarah Hills is one of the latest special recruits for the Police Horseback division. She will be patrolling the streets with her horse Robbie. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Eleven-year-old Robbie, a Clydesdale cob cross, is the latest recruit to sign up and help fight crime in Suffolk.

His owner Sarah Hills is starting the training to be a Suffolk Police support volunteer on horseback, and the pair will soon hit the streets.

Mrs Hills, from Stoven, near Wangford, said: 'We're able to get out into places

where motorists and pedestrians can't go.

'And he's friendly so it's

a way of locals having a contact point as well if they need one.'

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Robbie and Mrs Hills will be patrolling areas around Beccles, Halesworth and Reydon on their regular rides.

Their role is to report any suspicious activity or damage directly to the police, and the pair will be a highly visible point of contact for rural communities.

There are only around 20 police support volunteers on horseback in Suffolk, and Norfolk does not have a scheme.

The duo are looking forward to a new challenge after building up a wealth of experience.

Mrs Hills said: 'We've done everything together, showing, endurance rides, dressage – we've done a bit of everything.

'I always wanted to be involved with the police and I thought 'why not?'.'

Mrs Hills said she and Robbie are likely to have extra help when they're on the beat, in the form of Shetland pony Rhubarb – Robbie's best friend and 'partner in crime'.

For more information on the scheme, visit www.suffolk.police.uk and click on 'Join Us' or call 01473 613 570.

• Is your organisation looking for more volunteers? Email polly.grice@archant.co.uk

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