Horseback plan for police

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SPECIAL officers in Hampshire could be out tackling crime on horseback in a new initiative by police.

Hampshire Constabulary is drafting plans for special officers on horseback to help combat crime in rural areas.

As well as theft and poaching, rural problems include fly-tipping, youths using motocross bikes and off-road driving.

The volunteer service would be part of the force’s Country Watch team and could start in May.

Staff would need access to a horse which is suitable for police work.

Police have said the scheme is still in its early days, however, and would rely on the number of volunteer staff from the equine community who come forward.

The additional cost would be about £400 to £500 per officer and horse to kit them out.

Hampshire Constabulary does not have a mounted unit