Humberside Police To Shut Down Mounted Unit
3:23pm 1st February 2013
Humberside Police is closing down it's mounted unit.
It is not clear at this time what will happen to the six exisiting horses which the force has.
It is expected that one of the horses will retire and the others may be re located to other forces, but this is yet to be confirmed.
Chief Constable Tim Hollis said in a statement:
"It is with an element of sadness that I announce that Humberside Police Mounted Section will be disbanded by 31 March 2014.
The decision reflects directly upon the increasing financial pressures on local police in light of the Government’s 20% budget cuts, with that pressure deepening over coming years.
My decision reflects no criticism of the police officers and staff who make up the Section. Their commitment and professionalism is outstanding. Whilst they will inevitably feel disappointed, they can feel rightly proud in the service they have provided over the years.
The fact remains, however, that only a quarter of police forces in England & Wales maintain a mounted capability and the Humberside Section is one of the smallest remaining. At a time of diminishing budgets, we are having to look long and hard at what services we provide and the contribution they make to tackling local priorities.
Whilst we make regular use of mounted patrols, it is simply not justifiable to maintain the Section 365 days of the year when we can buy in mounted officers from neighbouring forces on those few occasions when they are regarded as an operational necessity.
Currently, the Section costs £500k per year to maintain. The closure will therefore generate £2 million savings over four years and this will allow us to maintain front line services elsewhere, which are themselves coming under increasing pressure. Similarly, the proceeds of the eventual sale of the property at Walkington will be made available to the Police & Crime Commissioner in order to allow him to tackle the priorities he has identified on behalf of the public.
I realise, of course, that the public and many officers and police staff, serving and retired, will regret the loss of a Mounted Section which has been an integral part of policing across Humberside for so many years. Personally, I share that sadness but we are in a period when sentiment has come up against austerity and hard decisions must be made.
We will now start the work necessary to wind-down the Section whilst ensuring that essential operational demands for mounted deployments are met. Similarly, we will consider where best to relocate the facilities for police dogs currently based at Walkington."
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