A Cumbria Police Support Volunteer Nigel Sutcliffe is in London at the NFU Rural Crime Fighters awards ceremony, having been shortlisted in the Equine Crime Prevention Section.
Nigel became a volunteer with the Constabulary in 2013 in order to help the Constabulary improve its engagement with the equine society in the county, and to help improve the crime prevention information available to that section of the community.
Following lengthy research and consultation with existing members of the ‘Horse Watch’ community in Cumbria, Nigel has been instrumental in the creation and availability of a bespoke Horse Watch sign.
He has improved communication and engagement with the British Horse Association and other equine groups operating on social media
As a result a series of advice documents were produced and posted on the Constabulary website while the re-launch of Horse Watch in Cumbria resulted in a rise of 10.3% in membership.
Nigel is now the lead on Horse Watch matters for the Constabulary and is working on projects to further increase membership of Cumbria Horse Watch through awareness raising events at key shows and events, and identify opportunities for Horse Watch groups to engage with neighbourhood police teams on common interest issues.
Andy Baines is the Safer and Stronger Communities Manager with Cumbria Constabulary, with responsibility for coordinating activities associated with watch groups and nominated Nigel for the award.
He said: “Volunteers working in the Constabulary do not replace police staff, but do provide support and added value. It’s probably fair to say that not many police staff have detailed knowledge and appreciation of issues affecting the equine society in Cumbria, so when Nigel offered his services, he was helping fill knowledge gaps and add value to our work. His energy and enthusiasm is amazing and he thoroughly deserves this recognition”.
Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes said: ”I attended the re-launch of Horse Watch in April this year, and said at the time what a valuable service this was, and was very impressed with Nigel’s enthusiasm and knowledge. Volunteers play such a key role in helping to keep our communities safe, and I believe this level of recognition is thoroughly deserved by Nigel.”
Residents and businesses can join Horse Watch through the Cumbria Community Messaging communication system - – or obtain further information by sending an e mail to