Future of mounted police in Britain to be decided by research carried out in Cirencester

Future of mounted police in Britain to be decided by research carried out in Cirencester

Mounted police in Cricklade Street, Cirencester

Mounted police in Cricklade Street, Cirencester

First published in News by

THE future of mounted police in Britain could be decided by the results of an extensive research programme that has been carried out in Cirencester.

Teams of researchers have been in Cirencester looking at the effectiveness of officers on horseback after it was revealed that five mounted units across the country have been disbanded in the last two years.

Surveys were carried out in the town by officers on foot during February to discover what the public’s perception of the local police force was.

This was then followed up in March by mounted police officers asking people in Cirencester the same set of questions.

Rod Hansen, Deputy Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Police, said it was important to understand the value of police on horseback.

“It does not feel right to lose such a historic and useful capability without fully understanding how sadly it would be missed,” he said.

“We must ensure that the police service does not inadvertently find itself without a capability it relies upon due to the current financial implications.”

Mounted units are often used as a show of force by police at large scale events such as football matches, political rallies and riots.

With the final results of the surveys still being analysed, the police have said that the early findings have been positive.

Nearly 80 per cent of people agreed that local police understand the issues that matter to local people, when asked by an officer on a horse.

However, when the same question was asked by officers on foot, only 69 per cent of people answered positively.

It was also found that 91 per cent of those who had seen mounted patrols agreed with the statement “the police are friendly and approachable”, compared to 82 per cent that had not.

Oxford University’s Dr Chris Giacomantonio, who is managing the project, said the initial findings are encouraging.

“Based on observational data, people are six times more likely to notice mounted police officers than foot patrols and the survey shows that seeing mounted police is consistently associated with higher levels of trust and confidence,” he said.

A similar survey was also carried out in March by the Metropolitan Police in London.

The final results will be presented at an international mounted police conference in November.

Comments (3)

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2:29pm Wed 30 Apr 14

mr fleas says...

Hmm, maybe they should consider replacing the taser with a lasso.
Hmm, maybe they should consider replacing the taser with a lasso. mr fleas
  • Score: -2

8:17am Thu 1 May 14

Geoff66 says...

It was lovely to see them...and to be truthful any police officer walking the beat, since this is such an unusual sight these days. However, as a regular user of the town centre, i am sorry to say, i only saw them twice in the town.
It was lovely to see them...and to be truthful any police officer walking the beat, since this is such an unusual sight these days. However, as a regular user of the town centre, i am sorry to say, i only saw them twice in the town. Geoff66
  • Score: 4

9:50am Fri 2 May 14

Iansky says...

Didn't see them, just the evidence of horse droppings on the road!

Any policing is better than what we have experienced for a long time, police in cars rather than on the beat interacting with the public.

They will never regain their credibility / trust from the public until they are out of their vehicles and able to engage.

Oh for the days of local bobbies who were known by all, respected and knew the people to keep an eye on.
Didn't see them, just the evidence of horse droppings on the road! Any policing is better than what we have experienced for a long time, police in cars rather than on the beat interacting with the public. They will never regain their credibility / trust from the public until they are out of their vehicles and able to engage. Oh for the days of local bobbies who were known by all, respected and knew the people to keep an eye on. Iansky
  • Score: 1

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