A horse rescued from Britain’s worst recorded case of equine neglect is hitting the beat in South Norfolk’s streets as part of a rural crime prevention initiative.
Six-year-old Bert was rescued from Spindles Farm in Amersham, Buckinghamshire in 2008. More than 100 horses, ponies and donkeys were removed by the RSPCA, Redwings Horse Sanctuary and other welfare charities after 30 horses were found dead and many more were suffering from severe neglect.
Bert was one of 65 offered a home at Redwings sanctuary.
Following his recovery, Bert was ready to be re-homed through the Redwings’ guardianship scheme, and is now to patrol South Norfolk’s streets along with his guardian owner, Redwings’ equine staff member and Special Constable Nicola Rix.
The duo are part of a pilot scheme to tackle rural crime in the area following the success of a similar project in Hertfordshire, which will see four special constables and their horses patrolling rural areas across South Norfolk.
The specials on horseback will be used as part of Norfolk Constabulary’s successful Operation Randall, which was set up to drive down rural crime.
Temporary Chief Superintendent Nick Dean, who leads the operation, said: “The scheme will make a real difference as the Specials on horseback will offer a visible and reassuring presence in the local communities where they will be patrolling.”
Rix said: “I am so, so proud of Bert. His turnaround is remarkable and to be able to serve the community as a Special Constable – and to have Bert with me – is fantastic.”