Seven horses set to go

NOTTS Police Authority has approved plans to close down the force’s mounted section after 150 years of service.

The decision was taken last week to scrap the unit, made up of seven horses and seven staff, which is often used to control large crowds at public events.

It is expected to save around £93,000 a year as the authority looks to make savings of more than £40m over four years.

Chairman of Notts Police Authority Jon Collins confirmed members have ‘regretfully taken the very tough decision to disband the mounted section’.

“This is not something that was done lightly but it is a direct result of the unprecedented financial strain we find ourselves in and the need to significantly reduce our costs,” he said.

“The mounted section has played a huge and valuable part of modern policing over the years and is affectionately regarded among the county’s communities.”

“The authority appreciates this decision is likely to be met with disappointment by many people, however, members had to make their decision based on what is operationally sensible and prudent for the force.”

“They felt that there was little option but to take the decision which will have the least impact on frontline services.”

The seven horses, pictured, were on daily patrols around the county and were regularly deployed at football matches and large demonstrations.

“In reality, the demands of policing including our tactics and capabilities have changed, reducing the need for mounted support in public order situations,” added Mr Collins.

“It is vital the force has the capacity to deploy as many officers to local policing as possible and on a practical level this move will release significant funds and additional manpower to this cause.”

“Before making the decision members wanted to be reassured that the future welfare of the horses, and the section’s staff, will be paramount to the force.”

“We are pleased to learn that there are plans to rehome the horses with new owners who can provide them with the best possible care, whether this is in retirement or in another force. Everything possible will be done to help any staff affected.”

The unit is expected to remain in operation until after the Olympics.

Vice chair of the authority, councillor Glynn Gilfoyle, added: “I believe it’s a sad loss. I understand difficult decisions have got to be made but this is one I feel could have been taken in the future.”