Police chief bemused by crazy horses

STRAY horses cost Northumberland taxpayers £150,000 last year, Ashington town councillors have heard.

Coun Brian Gallacher said he had also been told by the county council that though Newbiggin suffered the worst problems, Ashington was catching up.

Insp Barrie Joisce, recently posted from Newcastle, is bemused to find horse wrangling among his duties.

“I’m amazed, because I came from Newcastle’s west end and I’ve never dealt with horse incidents before, and the amount of locations is phenomenal.”

He told last week’s meeting at Ashington Leisure Centre that finding places to keep stray horses was difficult and owners often failed to reclaim them because it could be cheaper to buy another.

It was only a police issue because of the danger to road users and property from horses roaming the streets, he said.

Coun Marcia Bircham said horses had found their way into the churchyard at North Seaton recently.