Budget cuts threaten the future of police horses
Tuesday 20 November 2012
Police horses could become a rare sight on Britain’s streets as forces across the country cut or merge their mounted section units to save money.
The closure of police stables has been condemned as “myopic” by officers who fear that regional forces’ ability to deal with public disorder will suffer irreversible damage for the benefit of relatively small savings.
Two forces, Eseex and Nottinghamshire, have taken the decision to scrap their mounted units in recent months, and South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Humberside last week agreed to combine their mounted section units, relocating their stables into one site.
The Nottinghamshire Police decision caused particular shock as the force’s units were deployed during last summer’s riots in the centre of Nottingham.
It is feared that other forces across the UK may follow suit by merging or disbanding their mounted section units all together.
In an effort to make the case for protecting Britain’s 14 remaining mounted units, officials from the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) are considering commissioning an in-depth study into how they useful they are for dealing with public order incidents.
Rick Nelson of the Police Federation told The Independent: “To reduce or disband mounted branches is extremely myopic. Once numbers fall below a certain level, we will have lost invaluable experience forever and it will be hard to regain the experience which we as a Federation believe is essential for even basic quality policing of big public order events or high profile Policing.”
“On occasions savings of this type may end up costing the service more in the long run, Police horses at football and other public order situations or high profile community issues can reduce the total number of officers required to police the event considerably.
“Police horses are and have been a vital part in policing public order events and mitigate greatly the risk to the safety of Police Officers and the Public.”
Assistant Chief Constable Rod Hansen, Acpo lead for mounted sections, said the planned study into the mounted units could be “used as a tool by chief officer groups before they make a decision about their forces”.
Speaking to PoliceOracle.com, he said: “Mounted policing is too important to lose completely. There needs to be more qualitative research into how much mounted sections will be missed if they were not around.”
Essex police announced last month they would also be disbanding their mounted section to save £600,000 per year. Defending the decision, Assistant Chief Constable Sue Harrison, said:
“We know that the public police officers and staff hold the mounted section in great affection, and the unit has provided great service over the years. However, the financial pressures we face need to be met head on and inevitably difficult decisions have to be made.”
- 1 VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
- 2 If you're not already angry about the migrant crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 3 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 4 Chaos breaks out in courtroom as father attacks killer of three-year-old daughter
- 5 I like Corbyn, but let's face it: we don't need another white man at the head of a political party
VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
Bank Holiday Monday opening times: Are Tesco, Asda and other supermarkets open today?
Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
The nine most warmongering countries in the world revealed
Isis releases graphic video showing four Shia 'spies' being burned alive in Anbar, Iraq
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique & exciting opp...
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...
£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...