COMMUNITIES are safer in two South Tyneside villages thanks to the presence of police horses, a councillor says.
Northumbria Police’s mounted section has been patrolling Cleadon and East Boldon alongside the neighbourhood police team.
Officers hope the visible presence on the streets will reassure residents that crime is tackled in their community.
One of the villages’ Labour representantives, Coun Margaret Meling, is delighted to see the patrols on the streets.
She said: “We usually associate police horses with ceremonials and crowd control, but we must not forget that they play an important policing role too.
“I was delighted to see two mounted officers patrolling in Cleadon Village recently. They bring a unique and innovative perspective to community safety, being able to go places, and see things, which car and cycle officers may not.
“Make no mistake, they will stop individuals, they will dismount, they will search and they will arrest.”
Coun Meling said she was pleased Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird QC had signed a contract keeping horses within the force for at least another three years.
She added: “And well done to our Neighbourhood Inspector Dave Hudson for bringing them to the village.”
Inspector Hudson said: “It is a highly visible presence which will help to improve confidence among the local community, and will concentrate on any issues raised by residents.
“The mounted section is very popular, and officers will be happy to listen to any concerns people might want to discuss.”