Horse riders on patrol to keep Alban Way safe

Stable Owner Lynn Myland, CHIPS volunteer Sascha Butler on horse George and CHIPS volunteer David Ha

Stable Owner Lynn Myland, CHIPS volunteer Sascha Butler on horse George and CHIPS volunteer David Harris on horse Bess on the Alban Way - Credit: Archant

THE recent mugging of a college student while walking along a secluded St Albans path has prompted riders at a local stable to start patrolling the trail on horseback voluntarily to deter further incidents.

Riders from Barley Mow Stables, part of Community Horse Patrols – CHIPS for short – are showing their presence along the Alban Way after an Oaklands College pupil, a teenager, was robbed of his cell phone.

The move has been applauded by CHIPS coordinator Chris Williams, watch commander for Herts Fire and Rescue, who admitted it was a change of tack for the voluntary group.

CHIPS was introduced as a pilot scheme in 2011, with the intention of helping to deter anti-social behaviour in the district including arson.

Volunteer riders and their horses patrol rural areas and report incidences of arson and fly-tipping at certain hot spots.

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Barley Mow Stables on Barley Mow Lane was the fifth stable to sign up for the scheme.

But stable owner Lynn Myland said that she was prompted to take action upon hearing that the mugging had deterred students from walking along the Alban Way, a 6.5-mile trail along the former railway line between St Albans and Hatfield.

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She said: “We thought we could do more patrols. It’s been really well received by the students who appreciate us being there.”

Chris praised the stable for, “contributing to the community in a constructive way and making people feel safer in their neighbourhood”.

A spokeswoman for Oaklands College said: “We aim to provide a safe and secure campus environment for all of our students and it is great to know that the CHIPS scheme can extend that security to our students travelling to and from college.”

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