Meet the cavalry fighting crime in Skelmersdale
AS the crackdown on crime in Skelmersdale continues, the Lancashire Mounted Police are becoming a familiar sight in the town.
The constables and their horses have been called in to work with the neighbourhood police to help with engaging with the local community and residents.
One of the mounted police officers, Constable Adam Pearson, from Hesketh Bank, told the Advertiser: “We have got the best job.”
Constable Pearson says he has been out on patrol in Skelmersdale over the past few days.
“The horses promote a high visibility in the area and are an instant attraction for people to come up and say hello. It is largely about building a bond with the community.”
Constable Pearson is one of only 14 mounted police and is involved in looking after the horses at their Lancashire stables.
The 34-year-old said: “We muck them out, feed them, look after their hair and just do the general upkeep.
“We have just taken in a new recruit, Perry, and we currently have 19 horses at the stables. We look for very specific qualities in a horse, they need to be bold, brave and strong.
“New horses come to us on trial and they are taught using police commands and we use different techniques to slowly build them up to going on patrol.”
The police use a combination of methods with a variety of objects in obstacle courses such as flags, mattresses and washing lines and sounds like air sirens.
“We want the horses to be familiar with things that they may come across when we are out and about, so that they do not get frightened.
“The horses have to have a lot of character and it can take a while for us to build up a rapport to gain their trust and build their confidence.”
Constable Pearson has been in the mounted police for over six years after learning to ride at university.
Constable Pearson added: “We have had some really positive feedback over the past few weeks, and if you see us about in Skelmersdale come up and say hello.”