Police paddock is an Australian term that refers to a plot of suburban land that has or has historically been set aside for police horses.
Before the universal adoption of the motor car as the preferred mode of urban transport, urban and suburban police stations rode horses. These horses were stabled and reared on paddocks that were adjacent to or near to police stations.
Mounted police units still exist and are frequently used for crowd control at public demonstrations. Many of the old police paddocks still bear the name or nickname 'Police Paddock'.
Police paddocks were an obvious place to play sports, and many suburban sports were played on police paddocks. Since the widespread use of horses has been abandoned, the paddocks have become redundant, and many have been turned into sports stadiums. The Melbourne Cricket Ground was formerly a police paddock.
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