Paxton the horse is the latest recruit to the Northumbria Police Mounted Section.

The four-year-old Irish sports horse will stand over 17hh when he finishes growing. He joined the force at the end of 2010.

Paxton has already been out in traffic, with his trainer PC Jo Watson and more experienced horses, but now it is time for his training to be increased.

Sgt Andy Cross, of the mounted division, said: “When Paxton first arrived he was very wilful and wary but he quickly settled in with the others and is now very glad to be here.

“He looks like he is going to be a really solid horse and an excellent long term investment for Northumbria Police.”

There are 17 mounted police sections currently active in the country and they are mainly used for high visibility policing roles, crowd control, riot duty and policing at sporting matches.

“He is the youngest horse we have ever bought and is still a baby really,” added Sgt Cross

“Training him will be a very gradual process and he has a lot to learn, but the advantage is that he is young enough not to have got into any bad habits.

“We are introducing him slowly to all the things he will have to face and the obstacles he will come up against such as buses and cars and loud noises.

“Soon we’ll let him stand and watch the public order training to see how he reacts.”