DIMINISHING budgets have been blamed for a decision to disband Humberside Police’s mounted section.
The decision was announced by the force’s Chief Constable Tim Hollis who announced the section would be closed by March 31, 2014.
He said: “The decision reflects directly upon the increasing financial pressures on police in light of the Government’s 20 per cent budget cuts, with that pressure deepening over coming years.”
Mr Hollis said while those affected would feel ‘inevitably disappointed’ the decision was in no way criticism of the police officers and staff who make up the section.
But, he said, only a quarter of police forces in England and Wales have police horses and added the Humberside section was one of the smallest remaining.
He added: “While 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.”
The mounted section costs Humberside Police £500,000 and Mr Hollis, said the £2 million its closure would save over four years would allow the force to maintain front line services. A ‘wind down’ process will now begin.