Three members of the Centre for Criminology have been commissioned by Avon and Somerset Constabulary to assist in the development of a performance framework for mounted police in the UK.  Led by Dr Ben Bradford, Career Development Fellow, the research team includes Chris Giacomantonio and Matthew Davies, both DPhil students at the Centre.

Mounted police - i.e. police horses and riders - are a longstanding symbol of public police work in the UK, and are a nearly ubiquitous sight at football matches and other large public events. Yet, surprisingly very little research has been done on their operational or symbolic value as tools of policing. As police forces in the UK wrestle with difficult decisions to address significant budget cuts, the police partners in the project have sought academic input to develop a better understanding of how and why police horses are deployed, and how they are experienced by the public, in order to determine how they should be used in the future. The project will develop a foundational understanding of this unique area of police work through a mixed-method approach, and the team begins their work in February 2013.