Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch

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Mounted Met police officer outside Buckingham Palace.

The Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch is a Central Operations (CO) branch of London's Metropolitan Police. The main responsibilities of the branch are to conduct safe policing of football matches, and crowd control at other large public order events. They also escort the Royal Guard change every morning.

Crowd control is the primary object of the deployment of the police horses, both for orderly and disorderly gatherings of assembled crowds. The controlling units of police horses usually consist of 10 constables and 1 sergeant, headed by an inspector.


The Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch consists of 4 inspectors, 14 sergeants and 117 constables.[citation needed][year needed]

The Branch has stables at locations including:

  • Great Scotland Yard, Charing Cross
  • Hyde Park[1]
  • Lewisham[2]
  • Fortune Green
  • Bow
  • Hammersmith (currently undergoing reconstruction)


The Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch is the oldest part of the Metropolitan Police, having been formed in 1760 (some 38 years prior to the Thames Marine Police Force and 69 years prior to the formation of the Metropolitan Police) as the Bow Street Horse Patrol. The primary purpose of the Bow Street Horse Patrol was to patrol the turnpikes approaching London.