Riding clubs are being offered free crime prevention advice guides and property marking pens though a new initiative launched by Warwickshire Horse Watch last week (10 December).

Set up in 2010, Warwickshire Horse Watch is a partnership between Warwickshire police and horse owners in the county.

Its 4,000 members receive advice and alerts from the police messaging system and social media links.

The new advice guides were launched with funds from the Police Property Act Fund (PPA).

This distributes money from the sale of unclaimed lost property or items seized during police raids to charities.

“When we found out that there was no information to help clubs, we wanted to put something together that would help them look at ways to protect their equipment,” said Carol Cotterill, chair of Warwickshire Horse Watch.

We want to reach out to as many horse owners as we can to let them know that by doing a few simple things, you can deter thieves and help keep your property safe,” Carol told H&H.

The leaflet covers ways to mark equipment and gives guidance on how to protect jumps and keep fields secure.

Clubs are advised to put a physical barrier in a gateway if a field is only used in the summer.

“We are really grateful for the support we receive from Warwickshire police. It allows us to constantly look at ways to help horse owners including providing gate signs, free tack marking and crime prevention advice sheets,” she added.

Chief constable Martin Jelley said he was “very pleased to support this proactive group of volunteers, who give up their own time to look at ways to help horse owners and assist in the prevention of equine and rural crime”.

The scheme has been applauded by the British Horse Society (BHS) and British Riding Clubs.

“We are really pleased to support Warwickshire Horse Watch’s initiative to help riding clubs and centres to protect their property,” said the BHS’s Andrea Jackman.

“This is a fantastic idea,” said Laura Sanger, head of British Riding Clubs. “We are delighted that riding clubs will be able to benefit from this scheme.”

For a copy of the advice sheet clubs can either visit www.warwickshire-horsewatch.co.uk or email horsewatch@warwickshirepolice.uk and the leaflet, poster and UV permanent marker pen will be sent in the post free of charge. The pen has a UV marker on one end and a permanent marker on the other.