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Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe visits Biggin Hill stables
Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe saw a different side of London policing today when he visited a stable yard in Biggin Hill.
The commissioner visited Ringlands Stables in Grays Road, to learn about the safer saddle scheme which has been operating in Darwin ward since 2008.
He was visiting Bromley for a day, and is attending a public meeting at Christ the King St Mary’s Sixth form College in Chislehurst Road, Sidcup, from 6.30pm to 7.30pm this evening.
He said: “In London it’s quite hard to keep in touch with people. In a city of 7.5million you can’t meet everybody but you can try.
“Each month I go to a different borough to meet people. It can be an opportunity to meet the teams.”
Mr Hogan-Howe was impressed by the £5,000 stamper, which was bought by the Darwin Safer Neighbourhood Team after they were allocated funds for the project by the Safer Bromley Partnership.
He watched as Darwin officers marked a saddle. He was then introduced to British showjumper Al Capone, who is known in the stable as Eric.
The commissioner, who rides in his spare time, said: “I would like to take him home. This is the nicest job I’ve done.”
Since the initiative started in 2008 almost 400 saddles have been marked and none have been stolen.
Sergeant Katey Martin said: “We try and tailor policing to the area because the needs can be so different. That’s why community policing is so important.
“This scheme has been very successful.”
Bromley Police's Borough Commander Steph Roberts said: “The visit by the Commissioner to Darwin is fantastic for the area and supports his vision for better communication with all of London’s communities.
“The Commissioner was also able to see this fine example of how we address people’s real life local issues around crime in our more rural wards.
“This initiative is a tribute to the way in which the police and their partners listen to their communities and work together, involving them to solve problems that are important to local neighbourhoods.”