Stray horse scheme up for award

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THE search for the most innovative crime-fighting project in England and Wales entered its final phase today as the public vote for the 2012 Tilley Awards went live.

Eleven projects are in the running after a nationwide search over the summer.

Among the projects was Operation St Austell, set up by Durham Police and Durham County Council, to catch and impound stray and illegally-tethered horses.

The project led to a significant reduction in road safety incidents.

It was said to have made a real difference to Durham communities by stopping horses roaming free in public spaces.

Sixty horses have been impounded and 500 passported and micro-chipped. Reported incidents have reduced from an average of 31 per week to seven.

The public vote is on the Home Office website www.homeoffice.gov.uk/tilley-awards.