Cleveland Police horse section to be axed after campaigners fail to raise funds

editorial image

PLANS to axe Cleveland Police’s mounted section will go ahead after campaigners failed to secure funding of £521,000 a year to maintain it.

The decision had been made by Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer, who met with campaigners and said she would look again at the decision if they could raise the money.

But the deadline of August 31 has now passed and the money has not been secured.

Talks are now taking place with a charity to find homes for the horses before the section is disbanded.

Chf Cons Cheer said: “I fully appreciate the sentiments of the campaigners, and I have met with a number of them to discuss the matter, however with 300 fewer officers I need to deliver a policing service to Cleveland that keeps people safe. It is about deploying officers where they are most needed.

“It is more important for officers to be in neighbourhoods, response or child protection rather than the mounted section.

“This is an operational decision which has been scrutinised by the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Police and Crime Panel.

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger added: “Operational policing is a matter for the Chief Constable and it is for her to prioritise her resources. While a number of people have expressed concern about the Mounted Section going, feedback has also come in from members of the public who have said that retaining the section should not be a priority in this difficult financial climate.”