West Yorkshire Police are appealing for information to trace the owner of a radio-controlled drone which could be linked to an incident that resulted in the death of a police horse.
Police horse Fimber died following an incident at West Yorkshire Police’s Carr Gate complex on the outskirts of Wakefield on Thursday, October 15.
The 14-year-old horse, who joined the force in 2004, appeared to have been spooked while in the paddock causing him to vault the fences and collide with a wooden post.
Officers are now investigating the possibility that the incident could be linked to the discovery of a radio-controlled drone that was found at the Carr Gate site at 1.10pm on Sunday, October 18, after it was spotted by the police helicopter crew as they came in to land.
The drone is a “Walkera Runner 250” device, which is about nine inches long. It is widely available and costs around £200.
Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson, who is leading the investigation, said: “We have reviewed CCTV footage which shows Fimber bolting seemingly in reaction to something nearby. This resulted in him being seriously injured and led to his death. We cannot discount that this drone was involved.
“There is a possibility that Fimber was reacting to the drone landing nearby or being close to him when he bolted with tragic consequences. We know he was used to the helicopter taking off and landing nearby and by the nature of his training would be used to loud noises, which tends to suggest it was something unusual that caused him to react.
“I am very keen to hear from anyone who has any information that could assist us in tracing the owner of this drone.
“I appreciate that radio-controlled drones are becoming increasingly popular and I am not wanting to detract from the pleasure people get from flying them. Clearly flying one near to an operational police location such as Carr Gate, where the helicopter is regularly taking off and landing, is not appropriate and could have very serious consequences.
“I want to appeal directly to the owner of the drone to come forward so that we can bring this matter to a conclusion.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Temporary Detective Sergeant Alex Grummitt via 101.