Cambridgeshire Horsewatch offers advice and information to horse owners and riders to reduce equine crime. The scheme is part of the National Horsewatch Alliance supported by a number of police forces, including Cambridgeshire Constabulary. The county is covered by a number of local groups, each run by a co-ordinator who is the first point of contact.
If you would like to find out more or become a member of Horsewatch, then visit www.ukhorsewatch.org.uk.
Below are some helpful hints and tips on helping to prevent equine crime.
Protect your horse
- As a horse owner you will be aware that there is a need to have an equine passport, ensure that it is filled in and take a good selection of summer and winter photographs of your horse.
- Freeze branding - By freeze branding your horse it makes it easier to recover the horse should they be lost or stolen.
- Branding can also act as a deterrent to thieves.
- Microchip - A microchip is a way of registering the identity of your horse and making it easier to trace them.
- Hoof branding - by branding the horse's hoof you have another method of identification.
Protect your property
- Mark rugs with your postcode or the horse's freeze brand number.
- Mark saddles with a visible identification mark such as stamping or engraving using your postcode. SmartWater and microchipping are also useful as prevention and detection tools.
- Always use a wheel clamp on your trailer and where possible chain the hitch to something solid.
- Mark your trailer/lorry with your postcode to make it easily recognisable from the air.
- Never leave any tack or other property in a lorry overnight and ensure it is locked away and kept secure.
- Fit lorries with an immobiliser and fuel cut off.
Protect your yard or stables
- Make sure drives and access roads to stables are gated.
- All gates should have a heavy duty lock and chain securing the gates' hinges to ensure they cannot be lifted off.
- Install security lights.
- Install an alarm.
- Leave your contact details with neighbours and ask them to contact you should your security light or alarm be activated.
- Lock away tools and equipment, such as wheel barrows, which can be used by thieves to assist them.
- ...Any suspicious activity around yards or areas where horses are and inform the police of the sale of any horses or equipment that you believe may be stolen. Remember all equines must be sold with a valid passport - this includes donkeys and mules. Remain alert to the activity in your neighbourhood.
- If you have any suspicions then call Cambridgeshire Constabulary on 101. In an emergency always dial 999.