You might have seen police officers sometimes traveling on a horse. Did it make you wonder why they do that when they have motorbikes & cars that are much faster? We will further discuss mounted police jobs below.
1. What are Mounted Police Jobs?
Mounted Police jobs are not different from the regular form of police jobs that consist of patrolling and controlling crime. Basically, mounted police officers are mounted on the back of a horse or a camel to patrol for their work. They are most popular in the United Kingdom as it consists of a royal and king-like background with a history of slavery and transport. This soon influenced other countries other than the British Empire, such as the United States, India, Australia, Pakistan, Canada, and several others. (See Why Is It Called Jaywalking?)
2. What is the History of Mounted Police?
Mounted police jobs have been around since the era of kings and queens. The soldiers would patrol around the kingdom and town for various different purposes on horses and camels. This is regarded as a misconception as there were no bikes or cars to use during that era and their only mode of transportation was a horse. Read why below.
The main historic reason for the assignment of mounted police jobs was due to the poorly constructed roads at that time. They needed to move through several rural areas where the roads were not travel-friendly. Hence, issuing a horse or camel that is prepared for the task would help the police officers in getting their job done. It started during the 18th century, though it was extensively used during the beginning of the 20th century in the European states as a necessity. (See 4 Most Important Inventions of the Industrial Revolution)
3. Why Mounted Police Jobs Still Exist?
Horses and camels are expensive as they need care for fooding, lodging, excretion, sleeping, health, and fitness. They also need constant vaccinations and vet consultations. Whereas, vehicles don’t require such care and can be repaired with a quick fix. So why are horses still allotted such a huge role in law enforcement? Well, the main reasons why horses are still preferred over a car or a bike is because:
- They have a height advantage over a car as more height allows an officer to search in a wider area.
- It also helps people easily identify the officer from a distance for help.
- They can easily travel through poor roads.
Although it seems like a thing from the olden times, mounted police are still required in rural or isolated areas. (See Outhouse Design)
4. What Purpose do Police Horses Serve?
- They are mainly used in Great Britain when they are needed to address the Queen of England. For any kind of celebration, they are used to protect the people of the castle from mishaps that might take place. They move through the entire parade and the horse is fed in case it feels weak and might collapse. All this is done not to bring any bad fame to the Queen of England for not keeping an animal fed.
- Another intensive use of horses is done in football stadiums. It would look odd for a police vehicle to drive around the green stadium during an intensive match and it would also ruin the field. Horses are used as they would look natural and again would give a wider view of the field. (See Top 5 Urban Slangs for Police)
5. Where are Police Horses Kept?
Horses that are used by police officers are required to be kept somewhere where they can be fed and allowed to sleep peacefully. The police officers do not keep those horses at their homes as it would be difficult to manage. This is taken care of by the police department to which the horses belong. Each department has a branch, and that branch has its own stable. Since it can be extremely expensive, they use a minimum number of stables that wouldn’t overhaul their budget.
As an example, Metropolitan Police which has been around since the mid-1800s, maintains around eight stables for all the horses they have for themselves & Great Scotland Yard, Imber Court, and several others. (See How Much Does It Cost To Own A Horse?)
6. What are Police Horse Names?
Police horses are still animals and pets, so they are given names. This prevents alienation and helps maintain records easily.
- An eight-year-old Piebald Gelding Irish Draught Cross, Ned, was recruited in 2014 and has been in service ever since.
- Another service horse is Arnie, who is a Clydesdale Bay Gelding, aged 10 and from Wirral.
- Willow, a Hanoverian Cross Bright Bay Mare who is now 18 years, was a part of the police department since 2006. She was one of the members who helped the police department in 2011 during a disaster too. (See How Are Ponies and Horses Different?)