Sheffield & South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire's mounted police return to county

South Yorkshire Police's mounted section
Image caption Chief constable Stephen Watson unveiled the refurbished stables at Ring Farm

South Yorkshire Police have officially welcomed their horses back to the county three years after they moved to a neighbouring force.

Nine horses and riders were moved from Cudowrth near Barnsley to West Yorkshire's base in Wakefield in 2016 in a bid to save money.

But the force said the shared stabling costs had not been efficient and they were brought back to the county.

The horses have returned to their refurbished base at Ring Farm.

Sgt Clive Collings said the horses were invaluable and provided huge value for money.

"From going to school fetes to public galas right through to to policing the Sheffield steel city derby and everything else in between.

"The benefits and spectrum of policing it allows you to have for the financial outlay is huge."

He added: "There's a statistic that says you're six times more likely to approach and speak to a police officer on a horse then you are to a police officer on the ground so there are huge benefits around public engagement as well."

The Wakefield move took place under South Yorkshire's former chief constable, David Crompton, who also ended the neighbourhood policing system, which has since been re-established.

Chief Constable Stephen Watson, who took over the role, said: "I take the view that these are South Yorkshire's horses and therefore should be in South Yorkshire."

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