A PARALYMPIC gold medallist from the Staffordshire Moorlands has joined forces with the police to help combat equine crime.
Staffordshire Police has announced that 10 times gold medallist Lee Pearson CBE is joining forces with Staffordshire Horsewatch to help promote and combat equine crime across the county.
Horsewatch Co-ordinator Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Lucy Hadfield recently met Lee, who suffers with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, and his top horses at his stables in Cheddleton.
Lee said: “There can be quite a bit of rural crime, especially equestrian, so to know there is a dedicated team that has equestrian experience and is focused on cracking down on this type of crime is very comforting.” He added: "If we all work together as a team and can share information it can only be for the good of all, both human and equine. Hopefully I will be able to bring attention to the Watch.
“We need everyone, including non-horsey folk to be aware of rural and equestrian crime.” PCSO Hadfield said: "I met Lee at a recent event where I was marking tack and spreading the word of Horsewatch, and he was really keen to get involved.
“I am really pleased he has come on board.
“His support will be really beneficial as he is very well known in the equestrian world and can help us reach a much wider audience.” Staffordshire Horsewatch was started after a meeting at the Staffordshire County Showground in September 1993.
The group was formed following some horrific attacks on horses in other parts of the country and a general increase in horse related crime, such as tack and trailers being stolen.
The scheme, which has the full support of Staffordshire Police, is primarily organised and run by horse owners for horse owners.
The aims of Horsewatch are to encourage all owners to protect their own animals and property; to help foster a community spirit among equine enthusiasts; and to encourage every owner to make their animals and property identifiable.
To find out more about the scheme, go online to facebook/ staffordshirehorsewatch.