UPDATE: Two police officers discharged from hospital after vehicle in collision with loose horses in Romford
Two police officers were taken to hospital after a group of loose horses charged their vehicle in Romford on Monday morning.
The incident marks the sixth time horses have been loose in Lower Bedfords Road in just six months.
Both officers have since been discharged but remain off work with injuries.
Police said they were called at 5.15am. A spokesman said when they arrived on the scene they found six horses galloping down the road.
After 50 minutes spent trying to contain the animals in the surrounding streets, four horses charged the unmarked police vehicle, and one collided with it, shattering the windscreen.
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Police said the vehicle had been reversing but had stalled shortly before the horse smashed into it. The animal was badly injured and had to be put down by a vet, who arrived about two hours later.
This was the sixth time in as many months police have been called to deal with horses loose in Lower Bedfords Road, and the second in two weeks.
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But a Havering police officer has never been injured during such an incident before.
“It’s when the nights are closing in, and people are leaving the yards earlier and arriving later in the mornings, that you tend to get these incidents,” said the spokesman.
“Gooshays Safer Neighbourhoods Team is working with local stables and land owners to ensure all steps are taken to make sure livestock is secured.”
Harold Hill builder Terry Lewis, 48, had a near miss with one horse about 15 minutes before the police vehicle was hit.
“I was at the water tower in Havering-atte-Bower,” he said. “I saw a police car with flashing lights coming round the corner with a horse in front of it and it started charging my car – I thought it was going to jump onto it.
“Luckily it went past me – but then it turned round and went back past the police car.
“I know people have hit deer down there and the damage it can do is unbelievable – and obviously a horse is a bit larger.”
The remaining horses were gathered in the Orange Tree inn car park. Police said they had been secured in the nearby Havering Park riding school on Orange Tree Hill but Havering Park said the horses had not belonged to them.
An ambulance spokesman said: “We were called at 6.08am to reports of a road traffic collision on Lower Bedfords Road.
“We sent a single responder in a car and one ambulance crew. Our staff treated two patients – a man reported to be in his 30s was treated for a wrist injury, and the second patient, a man, was treated for a hand injury. They were both taken to Queen’s Hospital.”