Police horses plan clears another hurdle

ANOTHER fence has been cleared in the race to return police horses to the streets of Essex.Plans to reinstate a mounted section to the county's force after a seven-year absence have been endorsed by Essex Police Authority.

ANOTHER fence has been cleared in the race to return police horses to the streets of Essex.

Plans to reinstate a mounted section to the county's force after a seven-year absence have been endorsed by Essex Police Authority.

However the decision, taken at the meeting of the full authority at County Hall in Chelmsford this week, still needs rubberstamping by the finance and audit committee in the New Year.

Essex Police disbanded its mounted section in 1999 in a cost-cutting exercise because of lower-than-expected budget settlements from the Government.


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Robert Chambers, authority chairman, said he was delighted Essex Police were looking to bring back the horses.

He said: “I believe horses would be a very positive crime-fighting tool and would provide high visibility and reassurance through patrols as part of neighbourhood policing teams, which would further benefit the public in Essex.

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“However, I think it is only right that members see a full business case and consider this as part of the budget setting process early next year.”

The main aims of bringing horses back to Essex are to support the delivery of neighbourhood policing and provide a high visible police presence to reassure residents.

They will also be used to tackle anti-social behaviour and town centre crime, especially at night and at the weekend.

Another use of the team would be to assist at football matches throughout the county. Essex Police has drafted in police horses from London since Colchester United gained promotion to the Championship, which brought with it high profile local derbies.

Essex Chief Constable, Roger Baker, added: “Horses have a very positive impact on communities and we intend to use them in a wide range of policing situations.

“In my experience, they not only help to provide highly visible policing but they also contribute to reducing crime, nuisance and disorder.”

The new unit would see eight horses arrive within two years and the appointment of seven police officers.

It would also require new support staff and vehicles and would be based near Chelmsford.

elliot.furniss@eadt.co.uk

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