Danish police struggle for hooved recruits to form new horse unit

Danish police struggle for hooved recruits to form new horse unit
A mounted police officer in Copenhagen in 1973. Photo: Poul Ainow/Ritzau Scanpix
Almost two years after parliament voted to reintroduce a mounted police unit in Denmark, Copenhagen Police are yet to find a sufficient number of horses.

Authorities have found it more difficult than expected to procure the requisite number of animals, Jyllands-Posten reports.

“We are searching high and low for these horses, and we believe they’re out there. But people are understandably fond of their horses and are not always interested in selling them to us,” Copenhagen Police inspector and mounted unit leader Jakob Søndergaard told the newspaper.

Søndergaard added that police are working on “many things” and can now count seven horses among their ranks – two more than when a public appeal was issued earlier this year.

But the difficulty setting up the unit has given rise to political doubt as to the economic viability of the project, according to Jyllands-Posten’s report.

As such, scheduled police budgeting by the government could prove an insurmountable obstacle for the police horses.

Funding for the mounted unit was primarily a demand of the Danish People’s Party (DF), whose support was required to pass the budget in 2018. But there is no plan for ongoing funding of the unit.

DF’s justice spokesperson Peter Skaarup said he would raise the issue to the relevant minister (Minister of Justice Nick Hækkerup).

“The bottom line is that this has taken far too long,” said Skaarup, adding he expected the unit to have been riding by 2018.

READ ALSO: Police horses riding back to Denmark – but not for a while

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