Thames Valley Police trial loose horse scheme

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A scheme dealing with horses on the loose is being trialled by police in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

Slough, Chiltern and South Bucks police areas recorded the highest number of horse calls in the Thames Valley with 265 out of 757 cases in 2011/12.

The scheme makes use of an independent yard that collects the stray horse instead of police officers looking after it until the owner is found.

If an owner is found they are charged for the call-out and stabling.

Sergeant Lucy Price from Iver Neighbourhood Policing Team said the scheme would liberate police resources.

She said previously if an owner could not be found police "would try and find someone that is willing to take the horse in for a night or so while we made further enquiries" and that this "was down to the good will of the public".

She added the three areas had the most horse-related call outs because of the "high percentage of horses left in fields" that "get out through shoddy fencing".

Under the year-long pilot scheme, the yard will collect the horse in a box and keep it for up to 14 days.

After that time the animal will become the yard's property and is usually rehomed.

Thames Valley Police would incur the cost of the call-out and stabling.

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