PSNI ‘mounties’…

THE police are to start horseback patrols in the Greater Belfast area. The DUP thinks it’s a stunt.

  • fair_deal

    I don’t know if this will be particularly useful nor how the PSNI will evaluate its success.

    A few years ago there was large Orange parade in London and when they were talking to Met officers OO officials were surprised how keen they were to have it. It turned out it was because they wanted as many alrge parades as possible as it allowed them to used the mounted section which the middle rankers wanted to keep but senior officers wanted to get rid of as an expensive drain on resources. If it isn’t cost effective in London I can’t see how it will be in Belfast.

  • There’s another side to it, who knows how many kids may talk to the nice man with the horsey. They grow up to be teenagers and one day the choice comes along to throw a petrol bomb, and they remember the nice man with the horsey. Not all benefits are directly measurable…

  • fair_deal

    Pope

    True outcomes are harder to measure.

    As regards your cause and effect surely “the nice man” contact is the more important part in stopping the person throwing a petrol bomb rather than the horse. Therefore can a positive interaction not be achieved without a horse?

  • FD,

    I’m sure it can, but the horse can certainly reenforce the image. In a similar way the LAPD have been known to use “lowrider” police cars complete with pneumatic pumps for jumping and top class soundsystems. These are brought around to inner city schools in an attempt to enforce a positive image of the police with children at a young age, who think such things are “cool”. I’m not particularly for or against mounted units, perhaps they would be better employed in some form of display team, which could participate in e.g. Orange marches, or St. Patricks Day parades.

  • The Devil

    I spoke to Mark Durkan this morning and he assures me the PSNI have had mounted police in Belfast for some time now and the horses have been stabled at Daily Ireland.

    At least I think that’s what he meant because he says they are full of horseshit.

  • Sohnlein

    A good way of attracting some of the cowboys from bandit country into the force…

  • willis

    “The DUP thinks it’s a stunt.”

    Irony, dontcha love it!

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Yeah, but is the DUP saying ‘neigh’ now not closing the stable door after the horse has bolted?

    By sheer chance, about 20 minutes after posting this today, I saw the horses in action on Royal Avenue.

    They were also up the Falls, where Fra McCann had a good gurn about them, saying “it causes even more annoyance with local people’s lives disrupted further by an unnecessary PSNI presence
    in their community”.

    Well at least horses don’t stage sit-down protests or knock your door looking for a vote.

    Hard to gauge their effectiveness, but if anyone spots them chasing any joyriders in Lenadoon, be sure and let us know.