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Police and Horsewatch have launched joint initiative for Bedfordshire
Supported by the Police and Crime Commissioner, rural policing and the crime reduction team, Bedfordshire Police and Beds Horsewatch have joined forces to launch a four-legged partnership that will provide extra eyes and ears around the county. The partnership was launched on Saturday, 24 February.

Horsewatch equips riders with training and distinctive branded clothing, provided by The British Horse Society, and organises equestrian patrols of areas which police find difficult to access, based on current crime reports for local areas.

Horsewatch members patrolling in pairs, while out riding on country roads or tracks in the county, can keep a watching eye for any suspicious activity and assist in the fight against rural crime. 

Members can make reports using the Bedfordshire Police online reporting tool, or by calling 101, or 999 in the case of an emergency.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, said: “Horsewatch is a fantastic idea to join forces with communities in the countryside to work with Bedfordshire Police. They can get out to the parts officers just can’t reach.”

“Horse riders are in a unique position to be able to go off-road to locations that police vehicles can’t get to and alert the Force to fly-tipping, off-road biking and other anti-social behaviour.

“Riders can access out of the way locations of the type fly-tippers use, and where motorcycles and quad bikes cause irreparable damage to crops. Members of Horsewatch will be our eyes and ears on the bridal pathways of Bedfordshire and we’re delighted to have them on board.” said the Commissioner.

Row James, Beds Horsewatch Co-ordinator, said: “I’ve been the co-ordinator since 1992, and have been pressing for a mounted volunteer scheme. I am delighted by this launch.

“I’d like to say thanks to the British Horse Society for the training and sponsorship and to Juliet Wright from Bedfordshire Police, without whom this launch would not have been possible.”

A British Horse Society spokesperson said: “We are thrilled to be able to sponsor the Bedfordshire Horsewatch initiative and provide our Ride Safe training for the riders. We wish this initiative every success.”

UK Horsewatch was set up nationally approximately 30 years ago in response to a worrying level of equine crime, and attacks on horses.

Each group operates in collaboration with, and with assistance from, the local police, and will always act within the law to help reduce, or prevent, incidents, as well as be on the lookout for stolen property.

Beds Horsewatch volunteer group was created in 2017 and currently has 12 members from varied backgrounds, but with an interest in equestrian pursuits as diverse as the military, law enforcement and riding schools. One member even participates with a horse drawn carriage.

For more information, visit the UK Horsewatch Alliance or to volunteer, please contact Row James at