Mounted section – 008/18

Date Responded 01 February 2018

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

1. How many horses do you own, use or have access to, to perform policing duties or any other type of work.

2. In roughly what area are these horses kept.

3. how much have you paid to purchase/rent your horses.

4. What breeds of horses do you use.

5. How much was spent on stalling, bedding and feed.

6. How much have you spent on Farriers. Veterinary, dental, chiropractor and alternative health on your horses.

7. How much is spent on PPE for the handler (please can you provide a breakdown for each type of item i.e. riding hat, body armour, safety footwear etc.).

8. How much is spent on tack for non-operational, normal patrol, public order, exercising etc.

9. Can you please provide details ol any fitness exercise regimes you use.

10. Can you please provide any copies of templates of forms that you use for the care/maintenance/deployment of the horse.

11 . What is your selection criteria for roles both paid and voluntary for people having access to and working with your horses. 

Clarity was sought with regards to your date parameters and you said ‘for the financial year 2016/17’.  With regards to PPE, you said this is for ‘any equipment or clothing issued to mounted officers that officers or personnel not attached to the mounted section do not receive.  For example, head protection for 10 officers @ £75 each totals £750. 

In Response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention. 

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted within Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held in part by Northumbria Police. 

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows. 

1.    9

2.    Northumberland

3.   3 horses purchased in 2017 at £5000 each. This was an exceptional year due to horse retirement .

4.   Irish Drafts

5 & 6. We do not record separate costs, therefore the total for 2016/17 - £357,048

7.  Each officer is required to wear a riding helmet during patrol. The cost is £100 per officer every 3 years.  Officers also have a specialist PSU suit and armour.  These suits were  purchased approximately 14 years ago and are repaired when necessary therefore no recent costs.  All other PPE is standard PC equipment.

8.  No information held.  This is provided by partner agency as part of the lease terms.

9.  Horses when not deployed are ridden out, turned out or schooled. Official training once per fortnight by qualified staff.

10. No information held.  We contract out those services freeing up officers to patrol. The horses welfare and care are taken care of by four grooms and a stable manager none of whom are employed by the police.

11. The stables are owned by Bowey Construction. Northumbria Police are not responsible for the running of the stables or for the staff employed as grooms etc. The Force is responsible for the Officers that work within the Mounted Section.  The selection criteria when applying to be a Police Officer within the Mounted Section follows the Specialist Post application process which consists of an application form and interview. The additional criteria which officers must undertake is a Job Related Fitness Test, a 5 day suitability course and if successful at these, they undergo a 16 week ACPO National Standard Equitation Course.  

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