Scheme to prevent Norfolk horse crime

A new scheme will be launched in Norfolk aimed at detecting, preventing and reducing instances of horse theft and equine crime.

Members of the equestrian community in Norfolk have been alarmed at a spate of horse and vehicle thefts and related crimes. Now they have teamed up with businesses to launch the Norfolk Horsewatch scheme.

Tessa Plane, from Woodland Park Equestrian Centre in South Walsham, said: 'We strongly felt that something needed to be done to deter those who target horses, equestrian premises and property.

'A scheme like Norfolk Horsewatch will make it much harder for criminals because we will be able to warn each other about suspicious activity as it happens, report missing horses, with the hope of it then becoming much harder for thieves to sell them on, and raise awareness of the importance of taking proper security steps to protect horses and vehicles. Hopefully the scheme may even help to reunite stolen horses with their rightful owners.'

The equestrian centre has teamed up with security company Broadland Guarding Service to set up a warning system which could be extended to all horse-owners in Norfolk.

A new website, www.norfolkhorsewatch.org, will act as the 'eyes and ears' of the scheme, providing members with warnings, alerts and details of equine crime that come in either through the police or through Broadland Guarding's 24-hour control room.

Members will also be able to take part in security marking events.

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Amanda Geary, managing director of Broadland Guarding Services, said: 'The scheme is not set up to make a profit. We recognise that equine crime is a great concern at the moment in Norfolk.'

An open day to explain the scheme was held at Broadland Guarding Services HQ, Delta House, Vulcan Road North, Norwich, on Sunday.

The scheme will be officially launched at the East Anglian Game and Country Fair at the Norfolk Showground on April 16 and 17. Membership costs �5 plus VAT per year to cover administration costs.

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