Operational Duties (General Patrolling)
The Mounted Police is a NSW Police state resource. Over 80% of the Mounted Unit's core business is general duty high visibility patrols in and around the CBD and metropolitan Local Area Commands. Horses will be transported by float to the suburban patrols, whilst most city patrols are in close walking proximity. We have two 6 horse trucks and 3 floats so we can transport horses to wherever the demand is needed, that being a protest or musical ride at the Easter Show. That is 19 horses at any one time.
Mounted Police perform the exact duties of general duties policing, with the only difference being our mode of transport. Mounted Police conduct patrols in "pairs" and are highly effective due to the mobility and elevation of the officers on horse back. The visibility of officers on horse back is increased by their height therefore making them extremely effective in search situations and in crowd situations with large numbers of people such as New Years Eve celebrations in the city. The effectiveness of a mounted unit can be compared to the utilisation of ten officers' on foot during crowd management situations due to the height and weight advantage of the horses.
This unit was used extensively over the duration of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and are regular fixtures at breakaways from major sporting events such as AFL; Cricket and Football games.
Public Order Management (Crowd Control)
The Mounted Police is a highly effective Public Order Management tool for the Police, and works closely with the Riot police (Operational Support Group (OSG)), foot police and Public Order Riot Squad (PORS) to maintain a high level of effectiveness when dealing with large numbers of people and situations such as riots, protests and large public events that require a high visibility police presence. The Police horses are only used as a last resort and extensive training is conducted year round between the Mounted and riot (OSG/PORS) police. Mounted Police assist by escorting arrest teams through hostile crowds; escorting ambulances and police vehicles through numerous crowds and in relieving pressure and gaining ground for the riot police (PORS/OSG).
The Mounted Police also respond to other area such as;
- Community events such as local festivals, parades and celebrations throughout the state.
- Searches - mainly in country areas or outer suburban areas, in national parks, for lost persons, escapees, drug plantations etc.
- Stock mustering - Mounted Police can assist stock squad police, RSPCA, officers, and local government impounding officers in mustering stolen or emaciated stock, and are equipped to assist Local Police in recapturing runaway horses in the city and inner suburban areas.
Protocol and Public Relations Duties
Parades and Escorts
The Mounted Police perform Protocol Engagements consisting of leading processions or parades (i.e. Anzac Day march, Ticker Tape processions), State or Police funerals. Mounted escorts are provided for members of the Royal Family, The Governor General, The State Governor, and various other VIP's on such occasions as the opening of Parliament and major agricultural shows. The lances carried by Mounted Police, whilst on parade were presented to the Mounted Unit in 1957 by General Carriapa, High Commissioner for India.
The Mounted Police perform the musical ride at the Sydney Royal Easter Show and larger country shows. The musical ride consists of a series of precision drill movements performed in time to the music of the NSW Police Band over an area measuring 100 metres by 50 metres and is of approximately 20 minutes duration. This exhibition has received acclaim from many oversees visitors and is considered to by one of the most spectacular rides in the world. The ride was performed during the Edinburgh Military Tattoo held in Sydney in February 2005 and again in February 2010.
All constables are responsible for the care and maintenance of their own saddlery and the grooming of their individual horses. In addition to this, they also maintain the cleanliness of the stables. One day a week is devoted to training of horses and personnel with instruction given in troop drill, crowd control, escort duty and various equestrian skills as well as police procedures. Police at this section have very diverse skills and training. Not only are they competent in police work, but also having to attain a high level of horse riding ability. This is coupled with other duties such as veterinary, farrier skills; and truck and float driving for transportation of horses.