Merseyside Police’s mounted section deployed to deal with near miss horse riding/driving issues
On Wednesday 5th May, Merseyside Mounted Police Section was deployed to two areas of concern in Wirral – Frankby Road, Frankby in the morning and Station Road, Thurstaston in the afternoon. These areas have been highlighted by data provided by the British Horse Society (BHS) as a result of online reports made by their members of near misses and incidents involving poor driving.
Sgt Daniel Harris of Merseyside Police’s mounted section explained the operation:
The operation consisted of two mounted officers in plain yellow high visibility clothing on two of our horses. These officers rode in single file along the roads, but they were in possession of their personal radios and were able to direct ‘Roads Policing Unit’ colleagues further up the road to stop nominated vehicles who they felt would benefit from advice due to either passing too fast or too close.
During this operation, 28 vehicles were stopped and drivers advised, all of whom appreciated the advice given. Interestingly, the biggest proportion of drivers were aged over 50, with only one driver under 30 being caused to stop. Whilst on site at Frankby Road, a nearby resident came out of her house and passed on her thanks to the officers at the site for their efforts, stating that she had witnessed first-hand the poor driving past horses and had also received damage to her perimeter wall as a result of poor driving and the inevitable road traffic collision that followed. The mounted section were kindly facilitated for parking by Wirral Council Rangers, who were also very pleased with the presence and fully supportive of the operation, along with a local farm owner.
The team went out again on the 6th of May, this time to Gorsey Lane in St Helens, as it had also been identified as a risk area.
Sgt. Harris said of the operation:
The numbers stopped here were actually surprisingly low and the majority were very considerate, which was nice to see. A total of just 15 drivers required advice, although the area was identified for future speed enforcement activity by the ‘Roads Policing Unit’ team. Again, quite surprisingly, just one driver was under 25 and the vast majority were over 50.
Whilst on site, a local resident came out to thank the officers for the activity and stated that she was massively impressed and reassured by the campaign and fully supported the visible presence in the area. A walker also commented about the presence and stated it was “good to see” and was reassured when the future enforcement for speeding motorists was mentioned. Northfield Riding Stables kindly facilitated our parking needs and were also thankful for the activity.
This was a simple but very effective operation that also deployed the “Ranger” speed detection device to identify motorists in excess of the relevant speed limits and resulted in over 200 offences being disclosed for processing under the relevant educational activity or prosecution.
The operation seems to have had a massive impact on the local communities, their confidence in Merseyside Police, educating the public of the BHS’s campaign and its safety message and ultimately promoted road safety across these areas in support of reducing Killed & Serious Injury collisions.