Could Thames Valley Police be about to lose their mounted section?

Police horses could be scrapped from the Thames Valley if new cost-cutting plans are given the green light.
Police horses could be scrapped from the Thames Valley if new cost-cutting plans are given the green light.
Share this article

Police horses could be scrapped from the Thames Valley if new cost-cutting plans are given the green light.

The unit is deployed to maintain public order at football matches and events.

A TVP spokesman said the three options being considered were to maintain the mounted section in its current format, to restructure the unit to continue the current service level while making savings or to scrap it completely.

The force said "various" budget plans will be discussed at the meeting on 23 January, but it has been suggested that the dog handling section could also suffer cuts.

Craig O’Leary, chairman of the Thames Valley Police Federation, branded the potential closure a “massive loss to the community”, adding that difficult decisions lay ahead for the force with “current financial pressures”.

The TVP spokesman said: “In line with forces nationally, Thames Valley Police continues to operate in an extremely challenging financial climate.

“The force has an ongoing commitment to deliver an effective and efficient police service that meets policing needs both now and in the future.

“A number of options are being considered to enable the force to make investments and savings to deliver this commitment.

Various budget proposals will be presented to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld, later this month.

“This will include proposals in relation to the Mounted Section, of which TVP is one of only a small number of forces nationally to retain its unit.”

The options will be presented at a public meeting at TVP’s headquarters, in Oxford Road, Kidlington, on January 23.

Officers in the mounted unit, which is made up of nine horses and is based in Milton Keynes, would be redeployed if the section was removed.

Since 2010/11, the force has had to make £99m of savings, which has resulted in a reduction of more than 450 police officers, figures show.

A consultation by Mr Stansfeld seeking views on an increase in the police element of council tax by £1 a month - for a band D property - will end later.