max temp: 12°C

min temp: 8°C


Poll: Will mounted police help reduce crime and reassure communitites in rural parts of Suffolk?

10:14 18 August 2014

The Mounted Police Unit in Essex - which has now been abolished

The Mounted Police Unit in Essex - which has now been abolished


Rural communities in the west of Suffolk will see the first wave of special constables mounted on horseback patrolling the countryside to combat crime, the EADT can reveal.

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore, who is spearheading the plan, said criminals will be caught out by the “surprise factor” of volunteers riding the beat in rural areas of the county.

He said the horseback specials will provide reassurances to rural communities, help prevent crime by using their local knowledge to access areas deemed inaccessible to police patrol cars and improve the force’s intelligence picture.

Mr Passmore said he had gained the full backing of Suffolk Constabulary’s new Deputy Chief Constable Gareth Wilson, explaining it will be funded by “existing resources”.

He hopes to have up to 20 volunteers signed up within the next two or three years.

He said: “We are looking to expand and diversify the capabilities we have got across the constabulary and one of the areas we are looking at in particular is volunteers and special constables mounted on horseback.

“There will be great advantages for rural areas: horses are of course quieter so you can catch criminals unaware; you have got excellent visibility when on top of a horse; and from an access point of view in dealing with rural crime they can go to areas where vehicles and people find it more difficult to go.

“It is another tool in dealing with criminals and sends out a very clear message: we will be after you.”

Special constables are volunteer police officers who have the same powers as regular police officers. They can make arrests, wear the same uniform and are issued with the same equipment.

They are fully trained and are given the opportunity to get involved in a range of day-to-day policing activities.

The horseback volunteers, using their own horses, could be assigned duties such as patrolling country lanes, detaining speeding drivers, dealing with fly tipping, tackling poaching and helping injured livestock and wildlife.

Mr Passmore said the scheme is likely to be rolled out initially in the west of Suffolk, with a view to expanding it countywide.

He said: “Another excellent feature about Suffolk is that we find different ways to help each other. Our community cohesion is second to none and we are very keen to make use of that.”

But he added: “I don’t want this to be seen as a substitute for proper policing. It is an additional resource to help the constabulary. I want to combat rural crime and this is yet another dimension to help with that.”

The scheme was first introduced by Hertfordshire Police in 2009.

The disclosure comes as Suffolk Constabulary faces slashing £16.4million from its budget by 2018, having already saved millions of pounds.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “Discussions are ongoing between chief officers, the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Special Constabulary to look into the feasibility to design a mounted resource based in the county around volunteers with the use of their own horses.”

A recruitment process is under way and people interested in signing up are urged to contact Mr Passmore through his website www.suffolk-pcc.gov.uk.


  • This looks just about right as out local police force now mr Passmore is in charge is run by a bunch of cowboys

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • can you get panniers for horses ?

    Report this comment


    Monday, August 18, 2014

  • Rendlesham Forest would be a good place to start as to many dog owners let there dogs off the lead & little children are frightened. Also motor-bikes often nearly run us down.

    Report this comment

    hazel fenton

    Monday, August 18, 2014

  • In our town we would just settle for a fully fledged proper policeman, one who actually dealt with antisocial behavior,puts tickets on dangerously or illegally parked cars. Now that would really be something,perhaps a little too radical maybe

    Report this comment


    Monday, August 18, 2014

  • If we're going to have a taste of Canada in Suffolk, we need to make sure that they're armed to the hilt like their Canadian counterparts. That means they will need to carry handcuffs, flashlight, portable radio, notebook, disposable gloves, kevlar gloves, taser, pepper spray and baton and lets not forget the gun for shooting criminals in the leg who try to run away. The Suffolk countryside will be a lot safer by adopting this practise.

    Report this comment

    Andrew Berry

    Monday, August 18, 2014

  • Just what we need. More pointless gimmicks. No wonder Mr Passmore is in favour.

    Report this comment


    Monday, August 18, 2014

  • come on you horses get signed up.

    Report this comment


    Monday, August 18, 2014

  • Detaining speeding drivers ? How- on one horse power?

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Monday, August 18, 2014

  • This is hilarious , this should have been saved for a April fools, the Lone Ranger & Tonto ride again , horses are quiet , clip clop clip clop, a bike is quieter and cheaper, well I am now going to saddle up and cut the grass....

    Report this comment


    Monday, August 18, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

An anonymous donor has handed £20,000 to a Suffolk charity helping disabled youngsters and families affected by cancer in what was labelled “an overwhelming act of kindness”.

An Ipswich man accused of raping a schoolgirl has been convicted by a jury.

Education bosses in Suffolk have welcomed latest figures which mark the county’s highest school attendance record in the last decade.

Hopes of saving a supported housing scheme for vulnerable young people in Ipswich are still alive as bosses delay making a final decision on its future.

Work to rebuild the Princes Street/Queen Street area in Ipswich town centre is now centred on Giles’ Circus – but county chiefs have promised this will be clear by the time the Christmas lights go on next month.

More than three million day visitors to Ipswich helped to swell tourism business coffers by £250m last year, according to new statistics.

Councillors in Ipswich are set to find out how successful speed restrictions on the Orwell Bridge have been on Thursday, when the Highways Agency will present its findings.

This week, our iwitness theme was water - a broad topic that was open to interpretation.

The man who died while celebrating his brother’s birthday at a Suffolk go-karting track suffered a traumatic chest injury, the opening of his inquest has heard.

Police are investigating a second dog attack on sheep in Suffolk fields in just over a week – this time on a rare Hebridean breed, injured so badly it had to be euthanised.

Most read

Most commented


Show Job Lists

Topic pages


Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24