The Rural Task Force have welcomed Kent’s only mounted police officer to their team.
Special Constable Alaine Benardis, and her pony Jack, have been patrolling the New Ash Green area since 2014 offering a reassuring presence and being on hand to gather intelligence and talk to local residents about policing issues.
Jack, who is 21, is well known for his unflappable temperament and together with SC Benardis the pair have given up hundreds of hours of their time to serve the community. In addition to the mounted patrols, Alaine has been heavily involved with the Gravesend Volunteer Police Cadets and has taken satisfaction from seeing some of those involved in the scheme go on to join Kent Police.
In early October the duo were welcomed onto the Specials Rural Task Force, a team of seven special officers who are dedicated to combatting rural crime and protecting those in harder to reach communities. The team tackle issues such as, illegal off-road motorcycling, hare coursing and the theft of farm machinery.
SC Benardis and Jack will continue with their patrols and good work in the community and hope to build on some of the positive activities they have recently undertaken, such as the ‘pass wide and slow campaign,’ which was led by the British Horse Society to raise awareness of the need for motorists to pass horses safely.
Special Constable Benardis, a retired teacher, said: ‘This is an exciting opportunity to work with colleagues with a specialist knowledge of rural crime and I am looking forward to continuing my patrols of New Ash Green with Jack and working with the team to address any issues raised by the community.’