Police Horses

Law enforcement officers deployed on horses are commonly referred to as ‘mounted police’. As mounted police are at an elevated position and can move quickly they are often used used during assemblies to monitor and gather information, as well as to act as a deterrent, to disperse crowds, or to create a cordon. Mounted police may carry striking weapons (batons), however due to the elevated position of the officer any use of batons by mounted police carries the risk of targeted individuals eing struck on the head, potentially leading to serious injury or death.

Any decsion to deploy mounted police must be in-line with the international human rights standards of proprtionionality and necessity and it must be remembered that horses can react unpredictably when frightened or over stimulated, which may lead to nearby protesters or bystanders being injured. Certain groups may be particularly vulnerable when horses are used to disperse a crowd, particularly those with limited mobility, slow reaction times, or impaired sight (including persons with disabilities, elderly persons, children, pregnant people, for example).