There is a long list which can be compiled when it comes to the value of horses and the many different purposes they serve. For law enforcement in the UK, they strongly rely on the use of horses in their mounted units.
Law enforcement in the UK has been relying on horses, not just for transportation, but for other uses for over two centuries. With all of the modern technology today, some may question as to whether this has any real value in today’s methodology of policing. The changing of time is affecting the Mounted Police Unit and mostly in ways which are favourable to those who are part of this.
Those who have aspirations of joining this department of the police force find that it is not easy to get accepted. There is no active recruiting being done for the unit. Also, speculation is, that as a position becomes open, it will not be filled except for a few limited ones. Part of the blame for this disinterest in keeping the mounted unit fully staffed is due to cutbacks in the budget.
How important this unit is can be dated back to its origin, which goes back to 1760. It was the most comprehensive way to deal with the highwaymen who were troubling the rural areas. It was such a success that the unit was dramatically extended in size.
The main priority of the mounted unit is to police the rural areas and to protect travellers.
As of today, the unit utilises 150 police officers. 120 horses are used for the police activities which take place on horseback. Aside from patrol, the mounted unit can also assist in crowd control. If need be, they can also be utilised for search and rescue.
The mounted police offers have far more responsibilities than just for their mounted activities. They have to take care of the horses. That means taking shifts to ensure the horses are fed and groomed and mucking out the stalls. There are no extra staff hired for these purposes. It means that police officers who are opting for the mounted unit not only need a passion for police work but also for horses. They are required to be committed to this form of employment that is unique but rewarding.