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.”
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 2 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 3 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
'Russian submarine spotted' by Swedish military off coast of Stockholm
Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...
£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...