VIDEO: Norfolk Police Special Constables set for rural horseback patrols after being put through their paces at World Horse Welfare

Special Constables and their horses were put through their paces today as part of a project, which will see officers patrolling rural Norfolk on horseback.

Norfolk Police has launched the pilot initiative that aims to increase police visibility and reduce rural crime, which will initially involve four South Norfolk based officers.

If successful, the constabulary aims to role out the scheme to other areas of the county after adopting a project pioneered by colleagues in Hertfordshire.

Three Special Constables and one PCSO and their horses were assessed by staff at equine charity World Horse Welfare at Snetterton today to ensure they were up to the task of patrolling Norfolk's rural roads and countryside.

Norfolk Police received the support and advice of ex-police officer Jacko Jackson, who is now a field officer for the charity, who said that horses had last been used by the force in 1914.

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The Specials will patrol their local area wearing high-visibility police gear and will radio in any crimes to Norfolk Police control, who will send out response officers.

Chief Supt Nick Dean said a pilot by Hertfordshire had proved successful in cutting anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and thefts from farm buildings.

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He added that the cost to the force was minimal because the horses were owned by the Specials and the scheme had been sponsored by Wirral-based Equisafety.

The specials on horseback will be used as part of Norfolk Police's ongoing Operation Randall, which was set up to drive down rural crime.

The horseback pilot is set to start next month involving acting Insp Richard Tallent and his 14-year-old horse Jeeves, Special Constable Nicola Rix with six-year-old Bert, Special Constable Edward Arbuthnot and seven-year-old Roma, and PCSO Rebecca Taylor with 11-year-old Harri.

Read Monday's EDP for more.

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