Nottingham

Nottinghamshire Police horses to be cut from service

Media captionThe unit has twice faced the axe but was granted a reprieve both times

Nottinghamshire Police Authority has voted in favour of scrapping the force's mounted horse section.

The unit, made up of seven horses and seven staff, is mostly used for crowd control during major public events.

It will remain in operation until the end of the Olympics, a Nottinghamshire Police spokesperson has confirmed.

The force said staff would be redeployed and arrangements made to sell the horses. About £93,000 will be saved by cutting the section.

'False economy'

The unit has twice faced the axe but was granted a reprieve both times.

Acting Chief Constable Chris Eyre said: "I acknowledge the affection many of our residents have for the police horses.

"I fully recognise the history of the mounted section and the contribution it has made over many decades to policing the city and county.

"But I have to deliver a policing service that makes the very best use of very limited resources and to that end take some difficult choices.

"The force is one of very few left in England and Wales that retains a mounted section, and although its work is important, it is not a unit that is used frequently."

But ex-authority chairman John Clarke believes the move is a false economy.

"They have millions to save and this is a drop in the ocean," he said.

"It is a small unit but an essential unit. Without it there is no cover from South Yorkshire to Thames Valley - we need those horses."

Nottinghamshire Police needs to make more than £40m of cuts in four years.

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