What to do if you are a victim of a theft
- Phone the police immediately, giving a clear description of the stolen horse, tack, trailer, etc.
- When the police arrive, give them your horse’s description and recent photos, list of stolen tack, trailer description, serial numbers, etc. Horsewatch packs contain a handy inventory form for you to record all of these details. Also, any information you have on anything suspicious you have seen recently, ie strangers in the yard, boxes parked nearby, etc.
- If you are in a Horsewatch scheme, phone your local co-ordinator to set the ‘early warning grapevine’ into action – or phone local horsey friends to alert them to thieves in the area.
In case of the theft of your horse:
- If your horse is freeze branded, phone the company, which will circulate slaughterhouses, sales, etc. with details of your horse.
- Phone your insurance company. They need to know and may provide you with recovery expenses.
- If necessary, phone horse sales and slaughterhouses with details of your horse. You can follow these up with visits, armed with your horse’s description and photos.
- Alert weekly and monthly equestrian press and local press, and put up ‘stolen’ horse notices in local shops, riding schools and saddlers.
Preserving the scene of a crime
Forensic Officers may be called to the site of an incident to gather forensic evidence. The following is some advice relating to the preservation of a scene of crime and its surrounding evidence should you have the misfortune to be a victim.
- Preserve the scene of the crime as you found it. DO NOT disturb anything. Note the time of discovery. CONTACT THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY!
- DO NOT let any other person near/touch anything until you have been cleared to do so by the Police.
- If your animal has been injured or abused in any way – call your Veterinary Surgeon if immediate attention is required. Any subsequent veterinary examination is overseen by a forensic officer. Look for signs of abuse if suspected, but DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CLEAN UP until you have been advised to do so.
- If theft is involved, note possible entry. Provide as much detail as possible for the police attending. Making a list of such details is often a welcome diversion at this anxious time.
Such things will include:
- What time did you discover the ‘incident’?
- When did you last see everything safe and sound?
- A list of property missing/damaged.
- Descriptions, ie horse/vehicle passport/photographs etc. (this can be recorded on Horsewatch members inventory sheet)
- Have you or any other person seen or heard anything suspicious recently, ie strangers lurking, horse boxes parked nearby, etc.
- If you are the ‘victim’ or injured party, ie owner, you will also be asked for your own details which, together with the above details will provide the basis of information for the investigation of a crime.
DO NOT BE AFRAID TO REPORT ANYTHING TO THE POLICE.