Tyne & Wear

Northumbria Police recruits first female horse

Bella the horse Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption Penelope will support front-line officers on patrols and at protests, during football matches and large-scale events

A female horse has been recruited by a police force for the first time in its 162-year history.

Northumbria Police has traditionally only used geldings in its mounted section.

Penelope, previously named Bella, "brings a bit of diversity to the stables", the force said.

It added there had been no specific reason why it had previously avoided having mares.

A spokesman said: "It's traditionally always been geldings in the same way that traditionally all the horses have been named with the letter P."

Mounted section head Sgt Stuart Coates said 10-year-old Penelope, a 17-hand Clydesdale, was "full of character and is fitting in well with the boys".

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites