Mount up to help fight rural crime

  • Do you own a horse? And do you see yourself as a one-man (or woman) crime-fighting, criminal-busting force for the good? If so, Kent Police wants to hear from you.

    The role may not involve galloping down fleeing bandits, or lassoing escaping convicts, but the force is looking for volunteer riders to saddle up and join its Rural Task Force, as part of the special constabulary.

    Applications are being considered as Kent Police looks at extending its rural policing, helped by mounted special constables.

    Their exact role is yet to be finalised but could include assisting frontline officers or CID, responding to calls, taking part in patrols and riding on terrain not accessible to police vehicles, such as fields or woodland.

    Special Inspector Adam Houghton from Kent Police said: “This is a perfect opportunity for those who enjoy taking their horses out and want to give back something to the community through rural policing.

    “Being a special can be a rewarding and varied way to spend your free time, and with the Rural Task Force you can help target those who cause harm to our rural communities.”

    The Rural Task Force was launched in 2013 by Kent chief constable Alan Pughsley, the Kent police and crime commissioner and Michael Bax, chairman of the Crime Rural Action Group.

    It is already supported by special constables, who help regular officers, respond to urgent and non-urgent calls and investigate crimes.

    A similar scheme in Hertfordshire, for which special constables were appointed to police rural areas, on horseback if they wish, has been a success.

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    Applicants must be at least 18 years old, meet medical and fitness standards and be willing to volunteer for a minimum of 16 hours every month.

    Training and animal welfare assessments will also be provided for successful applicants.

    Anyone interested should email adam.houghton@kent.pnn.police.uk for more information.

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