Meet Penelope - the first female horse hitting the streets as part of the Northumbria Police force
Penelope is blazing the trail at Northumbria Police as the first female recruit in her department.
The 10-year-old Clydesdale horse joined the force over the summer – and as the first mare in 160 years, she’s already making an impression.
The police horse, whose stable name is Bella, will be hitting the streets soon for the first time as part of Northumbria Police’s Mounted Section.
She’s undergone a stringent training programme before being fit for duty, and now she will support front-line officers in policing large-scale events and helping to tackle anti-social behaviour.
Sergeant Stuart Coates, who heads up the Mounted Section, has revealed Penelope is the first mare to wear the uniform.
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He said: “Penelope is the first recruit to the team in a while and she has already made a great impression.
“Incredibly, she is believed to be the first mare to ever be recruited by Northumbria Police so she brings a bit of diversity to the stables.
“She is full of character and is fitting in well with the boys.
“We are expecting big things from her and if you see her policing the streets we would encourage you to come and say ‘hello’.”
She was “officially” named by Assistant Chief Constable Helen McMillan, who had previously said that if the section ever recruited a mare it should be called Penelope.
The horse measures in at 17 hands, and has now joined up with her colleagues at Northumbria Police’s Mounted Section at their stables in County Durham.