Page last updated at 10:36 GMT, Saturday, 4 October 2008 11:36 UK

Police share mounted unit success

Police horses
The mounted unit returned to the streets of Essex last year

An Essex police officer is to address a national conference outlining the benefits that a mounted unit can bring to policing.

The force's mounted unit was axed in 1999 due to budget cuts but was reinstated in December.

Acting Supt Jon Dodman will speak to colleagues at an Association of Chief Police Officers conference about the experience of bringing the horses back.

The Essex unit has six horses and nine police officers.

"Usually we get to hear what horses can do, such as policing football matches and general public order incidents, but this year the organisers wanted me to share the reasons why we brought the horses back to Essex as they might be considering doing just that themselves," Mr Dodman said.

"The horses provide public reassurance as they are very approachable and people tend to remember seeing a police horse and rider," explained the officer, who is head of Mobile Support Division special operations.

"They are good for crime prevention and their riders have made arrests - not least because sometimes they have a better view from the saddle than colleagues on the ground would have."

The conference takes place in Warwickshire on 7 and 8 October.


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