New South Wales Mounted Police

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NSW Mounted Police officers on duty at AgQuip, Gunnedah.

The New South Wales Mounted Police Unit is a mounted section of the New South Wales Police Force. Founded by Governor Thomas Brisbane, on 7 September 1825,[1] the Mounted Police were recruited from a British military regiment stationed in NSW at the time, to protect travellers, suppress convict escapees and fight Indigenous Australians. The NSW Mounted Police Unit is the oldest continuous mounted group in the world.[2]


For over a century they were a key part of policing, as horses were the main form of transport. The unit was formed three years before the London Mounted Police and 38 years prior to the 1873 formation of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.[3]

In 1830 the force was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Snodgrass. The more settled part of the colony of NSW was defined by three areas of operation, the main detachment of the unit, incorporating the Governor's guard, was stationed in Sydney. The city division was located at Belmore Barracks (located where the present site of Central Railway Station is). There were three country divisions: Western Division at Bathurst; Argyle Divisiona at Goulburn; and the Hunter in Maitland.

By the 1900s the Mounted Police had grown to a strength of over 800 personnel and more than 900 horses. Most stations throughout the state had mounted units attached to them. It was around this time that they unit was moved from Belmore Barracks, to allow for the construction of the present Central railway station, to a temporary base at Moore Park, and then on to the Bourke Street Police complex at Redfern in 1907.


Horses used by the mounted Police generally include a variety of breeds, including heavier horses such as warm bloods, draft horses and Clydesdale crosses. Historically horses were donated to the section, and ex race horses have been included in the donations. It can take up to two years to train a mount. [4]


Duties include traffic and crowd management, patrols, and ceremonial protocol duties (including taking part in the Queen's Jubiliee celebrations in London).[5] Currently the NSW Mounted Police has a strength of 36 officers and around 38 mounts. The unit currently comprises 75% females, and the current commander is female. Nine full-time grooms are employed to assist with the care of the horses and running and maintenance of the stable complex.[1] The Mounted Police have recently been trialling iPADS to give them access to the same information the non mounted police have [6]


  1. ^ a b "History - NSW Police Online". 2011-01-11. Retrieved 2016-04-03. 
  2. ^ They have a great group of riders that work there. Mounted Police at 'Thin Blue Line' unofficial NSW police site.
  3. ^ History of the RCMP Official Canadian police site
  4. ^ "Horses of the Mounted Unit - NSW Police Online". 2011-01-11. Retrieved 2016-04-03. 
  5. ^ "No Republic! Australians for Constitutional Monarchy - NSW Mounted Police Unit farewelled as they leave for Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant". 2012-05-11. Retrieved 2016-04-03. 
  6. ^ "Police rein in iPads". 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2016-04-03.