Horse Riders Enlisted by Police to be ‘Eyes and Ears’ of the Countryside to Help Tackle Rural Crime

Police have enlisted a force of volunteer horse riders to help tackle rural crime in Leicestershire and Rutland.

The 20 new recruits have volunteered to become the ‘eyes and the ears’ of the countryside, assisting Leicestershire Police officers to detect crime and anti-social behaviour.

They will be responsible to the force’s Rural Sergeant and will support neighbourhood and rural policing teams with issues impacting communities while also exercising their horses.

Rural crime cost the Midlands economy £11 million last year – a rise of 30% according to NFU Mutual.

It was the largest regional rise in the country which is why the Volunteers on Horseback scheme is a priority within the Leicestershire Police and Crime Commission plan.

PC Kelly Tones says “The idea is that they notice anything out of the ordinary, it could be flytipping, hare coursing,  we had a spate of trailers and quad bikes being stolen and left in remote areas.  They see these when out riding.

“Also speaking to rural communities and letting them know we are here if there are any problems, being that stepping stone back to us to highlight any issues.”

20 horseback volunteers have so far been vetted and recruited by Leicestershire PoliceCredit: ITV News Central

For Claire Rogers it’s a way of protecting the countryside that she loves.

She said: “I’m loving every minute of it its great to be there,  and do something with my boy that is useful for the community.”

Volunteers are not expected to confront anyone doing anything illegal, but to pass on information they believe is suspicious or out of the ordinary to the police.

Claire said: “I wear a hat cam and record it on the hat cam, I call it into the rural policing team. 

“I ride a lot in Tilton, it’s my local area and I just want to give a bit back to the community who let me ride where they live, and it’s great to do so.”

20 horseback volunteers have so far been vetted and recruited and Leicestershire Police force hopes to have more roaming the countryside in the near future.

Horseback volunteer Jess Howe says ‘We know the area, we hack around the area more than the police patrols. 

“We are good at spotting change and if there is something there that shouldn’t be there, and being a signpost to people who need help, it’s nice to be able to point them in the right direction. “

The horse riders enlisted by police to be ‘eyes and ears’ of the countryside and tackle rural crime | ITV News Central

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