Meet our mounted department

Date published: 20 July 2022 10:01
Dated: 20 July 2022 11:00:57

‘Bold’, ‘brave’, and ‘courageous’ are just a few words you could use to describe our police horses and officers who work on the frontline serving the communities of South Yorkshire.

With 43 forces across the country, and only 11 with a mounted department, South Yorkshire Police is lucky to have a team of horses and mounted officers who provide support across seven days a week.

As part of our on-going work to showcase the teams within our Operational Support Unit, we caught up with our horses and officers to learn more about their roles within the policing family.

Based at Ring Farm in Cudworth our 10 horses; PH Brinsworth, PH Treeton, PH Cubley, PH Tankersley, PH Woodthorpe, PH Bawtry, PH Stocksbridge, PH Hoyland, PH Finningley and new to the herd PH Wortley (we’ll be telling you more about him soon!) have plenty of field space to gallop around and rest their hooves when off duty, as well as luxury stables, the highest standard of care, and a whole lot of love!

Sergeant Collette Pitcher and Operational Manager Dave Driver lead the team of 11 officers; PC Rachel Hodgkinson , PC Sally Bellamy, PC Katherine Wallis, PC Phil Reed, PC Julie Bradshaw, PC Tracey Brown, PC Lindsay Crew, PC Mick Herring, PC Alex Douglas, PC Rachel Reece and PC Michelle Hudson, alongside four grooms - Lisa, Jemma, Emily and Julia - who ensure our horses are turned out to the highest standard and looking their best.

The team of horses and riders are deployed to areas by request from the districts to tackle on-going issues such as anti-social behaviour, or provide public reassurance following a serious incident.

Sergeant Pitcher explains more about the horses’ role. She said: “We are deployed to problematic areas anywhere in South Yorkshire to provide a police presence, deter crime and provide reassurance to the public.

“We always deploy in pairs, this gives us the ability to be able to make an arrest if needed, which I think sometimes the public don’t realise we have the capability to chase and detain suspects and we will where necessary.

“We police football matches, protests and large scale events, also providing mutual aid to police forces who do not have a mounted department for their events.

“Being on a horse that can cover a larger geographical area we can be called upon to search for vulnerable and missing people, or evidence. We can cover terrain that sometimes cannot be accessed with vehicles.

“As well as operational policing, we complete ceremonial duties including funerals, high profile events or VIP visitors and community engagement including school visits for the little ones.

“People love to see the horses out and will come over to speak to officers, they’re a great conversation starter. We’re stronger with our communities and through conversations, we are able to build trust and confidence.”

Our horses, like our dogs are a huge part of our policing family and officers build strong bonds with their partners, they all have their own character and bring qualities to the team and South Yorkshire Police.

We are grateful for their service. You can follow our horses on Instagram @syphorses

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