Police officers in Suffolk now have a new device to assist them in identifying loose or stray animals.
Eleven multi-chip scanners have been purchased by the constabulary in an effort to assist any officer sent to deal with an incident involving loose horses or other stray animals.
These scanners will be of particular use in identifying horses which are found fly grazing, abandoned animals, or those which have been involved in road traffic collisions.
The scanners can be used on any loose animal as they have the ability to read a wide spectrum of chips. They possess a memory function and the information can also be downloaded to a computer.
There will be a scanner located at eleven different police stations across the county, which will be available to all officers to make use of. These stations are as follows: Mildenhall, Newmarket, Haverhill, Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury, Stowmarket, Eye, Ipswich, Woodbridge, Halesworth and Lowestoft.
PC Mark Bryant, Rural Crime Officer, said: “We are often dealing with cases involving loose animals, in particular horses illegally grazing on private land, where identifying who they belong to can be a time consuming process.
“These new scanners should greatly reduce the time officers have to spend resolving these matters, whilst enabling us to locate owners and reunite them with their animals.â€
Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk said, “Rural crime is one of my key priorities, itâ€™s an important element of my Police and Crime Plan for the county.
“I am very pleased to see this investment in equipment which will particularly assist the rural policing teams to deal more efficiently with stray animals.
“These scanners will assist officers whichÂ is great, but they will also help reduce the distress of the animals as they are reunited with their owners more swiftly, which is equally important.â€