Essex Police disbands the Mounted Section

POLICE chiefs have agreed to disband the Mounted Section in light of increasing financial pressures.

Essex Police needs to reduce expenditure by �42 million by 2014. This has already meant the loss of 807 posts across the force, including 324 police officers, 100 PCSOs and 383 police staff since April 2011.

The force said that it is “faced with very hard choices about funding” and made the decision to close the Mounted Section “with great reluctance”.

Assistant chief constable Sue Harrison said: “We know that the public, police officers and staff hold the Mounted Section in great affection and the unit has provided great service over the years. However, the financial pressures we face need to be met head on and inevitably difficult decisions have to be made.

“The disbanding of the Mounted Section will lead to approximately �600,000 of savings annually and the decision to remove these posts is part of the on-going planned reduction of police officer numbers over the four year reform change programme.

“Officers based within the unit will take up new roles elsewhere in the force and staff members will be eligible for redeployment. A detailed plan for the disbanding of the unit is now being progressed. If we were not to have taken this decision, then Essex Police would have had to lose an even greater number of officer posts from across the force.

“Securing a good home for the horses will continue to be paramount and we will explore all avenues to achieve this including transferring them to other forces.”

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She added: “On behalf of all at Essex Police, I would like to express our gratitude for the fine work undertaken by the officers, staff and horses of our Mounted Section.”