Police Constable Samantha Silk (on Mallory) and Sergeant Spencer Kervin (on Trojan) visited Hungerford on Monday 24 April and I took the opportunity to ask them what it takes to be in the mounted police service.
They explained that it involves years of being a conventional police officer on the streets before you can specialise and the mounted service is a highly sought after position. Whether you are a novice or experienced rider you have to do an intensive 16 week equestrian course.
The horses need to be a minimum of 17 hands high and have a cool temperament. Shires are a good breed for police work as they are placid. The ‘re-mounts’ come from a variety of backgrounds and are trained for 6 – 18 months as they need to be able to cope with stress and distraction. They need to learn to simply stand still for long periods and they are rewarded for this in training.
The most dramatic aspect of their service is controlling crowds and violence at football matches and demonstrations, separating fans and moving back crowds. The officers always worry about the safety of the horses. Occasionally the horses are injured but they love their work and are loyal and brave – especially Trojan who will take the lead if there is disorder and fighting. He is very brave but he gets grumpy dealing with the public on a daily basis…
Click the video above to hear the full interview.
To find out how to join Thames Valley Police visit thamesvalleypolice.co.uk/joinus