Dorset Horse Watch
Dorset is a fabulous county for the horse rider and owner, whether it be galloping along the shore, trekking through the countryside, or training the competitive horse.
Equine crime can be soul destroying and it is not just about the financial loss there is also the emotional distress, and it is a sad fact that horses, trailers, lorries and tack can occasionally disappear without trace.
Being a member of Dorset Horse Watch can help to protect you from crime as you can access security advice and information, which will help you to keep your equine and tack safe. As a member you will receive information on equine related incidents and incidents from across the county of Dorset, so that you can be aware of any suspicious activity that may occur.
We offer security advice on all aspects of horse ownership and yard security, whether you own a single horse or a competition yard.
Everyone is a potential target for thieves, but membership of Dorset Horse Watch allows us to pass on to you the advice and help that you need to help you prevent crime.
Make sure you return home safely from your ride by following a few safety tips:
- Be seen at all times – wear high visibility clothing all year round even in summer, as a horse and rider may be easily hidden in the shadows on country roads.
- Always tell someone where you are going and at what time you expect to return.
- Take your mobile phone with you if possible.
- Try not to ride after dark, if it is impossible to avoid make sure that you and your horse can be easily seen by wearing reflective clothing, stick to well lit areas where possible and carry a torch.
Further safety advice can be found on The British Horse Society website, where you can also download a range of free advice leaflets on subjects from Access and Rights of Way to Welfare.
Crime Prevention Advice
Equestrian Safety is not just about being safe whilst riding, it goes hand in-hand with the importance of ensuring your property; vehicles; stables; and land are all safe and secure at all times. Listed below are some useful preventative measures in relation to crime prevention for you to consider.
Regularly check your fences, hedges and gates for damage or weakness and repair as soon as possible. Consider turning gate hinges upside down and weld if necessary so gates cannot be lifted off the hinges but can still be opened and closed for access. Ensure that they are securely locked when not in use.
Buildings & Security
Ensure that all buildings within your yard are well maintained. Carry out regular checks looking for rusted and broken locks, loose hinges, cracked window glass or rotten frames. Opportunist thieves look for features such as these. If you keep your tack in the yard ensure it is kept in a secure locked room but do not advertise that it is the tack room. Install internal bars on windows. Invest in good quality secure locks, hinges and padlocks. Ideally “Dusk to Dawn” lights should be used as opposed to sensor lights as they give out a low level continuous light. CCTV needs to be considered carefully as to what you want from the system. Alarms are a good deterrent, there are many on the market that can send text messages to mobile phones or linked to IPad. Do not leave vehicles unlocked when unattended or be tempted to load vehicles the night before travelling to an event or show. Ensure any valuables are removed from vehicles, you do not know who is watching your vehicle/trailer/horsebox when you leave it.
Before purchasing consider checking the Stolen Horse Register which is accessible on www.stolenhorseregister.com Keep up to date records and photos of your horse/pony to include Breed, Height, Colour, Markings, Branding and Age.
Tack Marking & Inventory
Engrave/punch your postcode or identifying number onto your tack. If your tack is marked it will make it harder for the thief to sell on. Rugs can be marked with your postcode by using either permanent marker or paint. Keep an up to date inventory of all your vehicles, tack and equipment including colour, make and security markings together with photographs. Ensure that records are kept secure and not left where they are easily accessible to others. Do not be tempted to load vehicles the night before travelling to an event or show. Take photographs of your trailers and horse boxes and make a note of any distinguishing features including chassis/serial numbers. Consider painting your vehicle registration on top of the trailer/horsebox roof. +Fit a tracking device onto your trailers and horse boxes. Ensure it is secure when unattended in your yard, at shows, events, or parked in a beauty spot or road siding.
Take note of unknown vehicles or people you see in your yard or on your property. Note their description, vehicle make/colour/registration number then report it to your local Police on 101. If you see a crime taking place, call 999 immediately.
For Security and Crime Prevention advice please contact your local Neighborhood Policing Team or local Crime Prevention Advisor specific to your individual need(s) by phoning 101. Information can also be found on-line by visiting the Dorset Police website www.dorset.police.uk and www.dorsethorsewatch.org
Information relating to the quality and use of security products is available on www.soldsecure.com
Horse Watch Alliance UK has provided useful information relating to riding, equipment and vehicle safety together with links to Horse Watch Groups around the UK. You can view and join the group by visiting www.ukhorsewatch.org.uk
Contact the Horse Watch team at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please be aware that the Horse Watch inbox is for non-urgent general enquiries only and is not monitored daily. To report incidents please call the police on 101.
REMEMBER IF A CRIME IS IN PROGRESS DIAL 999.