Saturday, July 13, 2024

Unsaddle the horses: Essex Police announce cuts to mounted section

A combination of cuts in grant and other unavoidable financial pressures mean that Essex Police has to make recurring revenue savings of £42.2 million by 2014/15. To achieve this level of savings, the force is faced with very difficult decisions and has already made significant reductions in the number of police officer and police staff posts, as well as significant non pay savings.

On July 16, 2012, Essex Police informed the Essex Police Authority of its proposal to disband the Mounted Section, to commence formal consultation with affected staff and to inform officers. The Essex Police Authority members present at the meeting noted the operational proposal of the Chief Constable. A final paper, containing details of the financial matters arising from the proposal, will go to the Essex Police Authority Finance and Audit Committee later in the year.

This proposal is now subject to formal consultation with affected police staff. Implementation would commence in September 2012. If the Mounted Section is disbanded, Essex Police will make annual savings of around £600,000.

The Mounted Section consists of nine police officers, two police staff and eight horses and, if the section was to remain, Essex Police would have to cut up to 14 front line police officer posts in order to make the equivalent savings.

Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle said: “Essex Police is committed to providing the best and most effective policing service possible to our communities.

“In these times of unprecedented financial pressures, the force is faced with very hard choices, and the proposal to disband the Mounted Section is made with great reluctance.”

It should also be stressed that the welfare of the horses will be paramount and, if the unit is disbanded, the horses will be transferred to another force or re-homed.

There are only eight police forces in the country which still retain a dedicated Mounted Section: Metropolitan Police Service; City Of London Police; Greater Manchester Police; Merseyside Police; Thames Valley Police; Sussex Police; Avon and Somerset Constabulary; and West Yorkshire Police.


  1. How did a police force manage to get itself so far into debt that such amssive savings are now needed?

    Did they think that the excessive amount of money which was coming from the last government was going to last for ever more?

    There was a problem with public sector bodies not managing their finances properly over the past decade which has added to the amount of cuts that they are having to make at present.

  2. Bernard, you have hit the nail squarely on the head, under the last government public sector areas were bailed out time and again and were made very top heavy with expensive management positions, they continues to live beyond their means and went cap in hand every time rather than streamlining their operations.

    Now that funding is no longer available as there is not enough cash to go round they are finding it difficult to reorganise into an effective workforce.


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