Horse patrols are being brought back all over the world to help enforce social restriction orders
By ASHLEY COWIE | ANCIENT ORIGINS (4 May 2020) — Police forces around the world are deploying horses to maintain social control as communities begin to crack under the pressure of social restrictions.
Archaeologists know horses were ridden in Eurasian warfare between 4,000 and 3,000 BC, and Sumerian illustrations dating to 2,500 BC depict horses pulling wagons for soldiers. Just today Ancient Origins published a new article about the discovery of a 2nd century Parthian warrior who had fought amidst fleets of skilled mounted bowmen using horses as mobile platforms from which to deliver their kill shots.
In the early 18th century the French “Maréchaussée,” who became the gendarmerie, was the world’s first completely mounted national police force who patrolled extensively in rural areas with no roads, a situation that made horse-mounted policing a necessity in European states until the road building projects of the early 20th century. But now, in the face of a new, less obvious enemy, horse patrols are being brought back all over the world to help police forces support social restriction orders.
Australia prefers four legs over two
Modern policing requires modern technologies, but sometimes more ancient methods are deployed, and in regards to the new patrols of mounted police in Australia’s public spaces Senior Sergeant Glen Potter, the head of Western Australia’s Mounted Police section, told ABC News , “If you’ve got one horse, it’s like having 10 coppers on the ground”. Police horses provide stability and force in turbulent situations, said Mr. Potter, especially when officers are struggling to keep order at “mass protests, riots, and large-scale events,” and they are also deployed in Australia’s remote areas in search and rescue operations.
As Australia releases its grip on social lockdown and its nightlife slowly returns people are starting to feel comfortable congregating in groups. In light of this police horses will become “much more visible to the average punter,” said PC Potter. This week, Western Australia’s highly-trained team of 20 police horses and mounted officers hit the streets after weeks of downtime due to the coronavirus pandemic and Senior Sergeant Potter said, “As tough as it’s been for everyone, it has been a silver lining for the horses, as they can now be retrained”.
Unprecedented crowds in the UK need proper horsing
In the UK the head of South Wales Police, Chief Constable Matt Jukes, says horse mounted officers will be patrolling “parks, beaches, and forestry” to ensure people are not breaching COVID-19 restrictions. While the chief constable is confident most people are following guidelines and staying at home, despite warnings over social distancing, according to a BBC report last weekend saw “unprecedented crowds” gathering at tourist destinations such as Barry Island Pleasure Park and Porthcawl on the south coast of Wales in the county borough of Bridgend, 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of the capital city, Cardiff.
Dukes said the police “don’t want people gathering on the beach fronts and in the forestry in our area” and he urges the public that if they’re looking for a way to “creep in between these rules, you are missing the point” reminding people that COVID-19 is a national emergency and people “do need to act in ways which are responsible”.
That’s not all
The Dubai Mounted Police Unit, who you can watch parading on YouTube, are also keeping communities safe during the coronavirus pandemic by carrying out nightly patrols to ensure members of the public are adhering to stay-home orders
Much of modern China is like medieval Europe, and in this instance I don’t mean the fact they eat 10 million dogs a year, or hold Christians and Muslims in prison camps, but there are virtually no roads in a large part of the country. This means Chinese police have had to ride on horseback for hundreds of miles through extremely snowy conditions to reach nomad communities in the northwestern Xinjiang region, one of the most remote areas in the world, to inform them about the dangers of the virus.
FEATURED IMAGE. SHUTTERSTOCK. Close up image of mounted patrol police horse. Not filed with original story.