The police of Northamptonshire has decided to take the help of 50 volunteers to become the “eyes and ears” of the local police. These trained horse riders will keep an eye out for problems in far flung rural areas while riding around the countryside to reduce the instances of crime in the region. They will work individually as patrolling crime reporters to inform the police about law issues occurring in the area. Though these volunteers will be given police uniforms, they will not be given any specific patrolling duties nor will they be asked to confront criminals breaking law. Since people in uniform are regarded as a deterrent to criminals, the police department is taking assistance of these volunteers to keep society peaceful and crime-free.
Duties and rights of police volunteers
According to basic regulations governing enlistment of these volunteers, they should be over 18 years of age and own their own horses. Once they are enlisted the volunteers will have to undertake training for road safety under British Horse Society. On completion of this training, volunteers will be given an equestrian jacket with special police logo for identification purposes. Instead of trying to arrest or confront people breaking the law, these volunteers will casually ride around lanes, pathways and lonely areas around they countryside in their locality and report any unusual activity.
Effective for rural crime
Senior police officers hope that the initiative will help curtail rural crime and put a stop to illegal rave parties. The volunteers will provide support to police in places where officers cannot patrol on a regular basis and deter speeding motorists on rural motorways. Volunteer’s horses will be given special blankets for winters while the riders will have standard yellow police jackets. The idea to introduce volunteers in Northamptonshire was inspired by similar projects, which have been successful in Hertfordshire and Norfolk. In both these regions, the police had employed special constables on horseback for countryside patrols along with local volunteers.
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