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Horse owners urged to join equestrian crime prevention scheme

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Equestrians are being invited to take advantage of a police scheme to help combat horse-related crime.

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North Yorkshire Police’s Horsewatch scheme has been relaunched by the force’s Rural Taskforce, and is now using sophisticated property marking machines to protect tack from criminals.

PC Hannah McPeake, of the Rural Taskforce, said: “As a horse owner myself, I know how important and valuable your horse and all its equipment is. This is why I am involved in the scheme – I am passionate about promoting equine security across the whole of North Yorkshire.

“Fortunately, levels of equestrian crime are very low in North Yorkshire, but you can never be too careful. Preventing crime and deterring criminals is very important, and we are encouraging all equestrian businesses and horse owners to check their yard security and think carefully about how to protect their property.”

The most recent tack marking event, at a livery yard in York, had an excellent response, with 16 saddles and five bridles security marked.

Members of the public are now being invited to another tack marking event, at the Ride-away equestrian store in Stillington Road, Sutton-on-the-Forest, from 12pm to 4pm on Sunday 19 June 2016.

Please bring along any leather items of tack, and they will be marked with a visible, permanent unique number with a hi-tech ‘dot peen’ property marking machine. The service is provided free by North Yorkshire Police. (Unfortunately, synthetic tack or padded bridles cannot be marked using dot peen).

Dot peen marking involves using a tungsten carbide-tipped pin to indent an object with dots to create a visible, permanent unique number. The unique number will be entered onto the national Immobilise property register database, vastly increasing the chances that it will be reunited with its owner if it is lost or stolen.

While other methods of property marking, such as UV marker pens or forensically-coded liquid, can also be very effective, the visual deterrent of a permanently marked serial number alone could be enough to deter would-be thieves.

PC McPeake added: “Tack marking is very important as it deters criminals, and if police recover any tack it can be traced back to the owner. We are in the process of organising future events at livery yards, feed stores and equestrian shops across North Yorkshire.”

Officers will also be on-hand at the event to offer equestrian crime prevention advice and will have a range of leaflets featuring advice on keeping safe whilst out riding.

Horse owners and enthusiasts are invited to follow the Horsewatch scheme on social media – via NYP Horsewatch on Facebook, and @NYP_Horsewatch on Twitter – so they can find out about future events and be made aware of any equestrian crimes in their area. To get in touch with the scheme, emailhorsewatch@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce works proactively alongside colleagues, partners and volunteers to increase engagement with rural communities, target criminals who offend in our rural areas, and provide bespoke crime prevention advice to those at risk of criminality.

It includes an Inspector, a Sergeant, seven Police Constables, seven Police Community Support Officers and co-ordinator and intelligence posts.

You can meet members of the Taskforce at community events throughout the year, including markets, auctions and shows. You can also follow the team’s work on Twitter at @NYPRuralTF

27 May 2016

Last modified: June 15, 2016