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Thames Valley Police Chief Constable discusses future of force's horses

Amidst uncertainty over future of horses used by Thames Valley Police (TVP), the force’s Chief Constable has met with members of the team.

In December, TVP considered options to bridge a projected funding gap of £4m in 2018/19 and identified the removal of the Mounted Section from June 2019 as way to save money.

A decisions was put on hold after TVP Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld agreed to a £12 council tax precept hike for Band D homes last month, relieving financial pressure.

Chief Constable Francis Habgood met with members of the Mounted Section on Tuesday, February 6 to discuss their budget and role.

Over the next few months the unit agreed to collate extra data on deployments, costs and income generated from other forces.

It will also explore using Special Constables and additional funding streams including sponsorship.

Chief Constable Francis Habgood agreed to meet them again in October.

He said: “I know that the Mounted Section has a wide following, both on social media and when the officers and horses are out and about.

“I know that they are grateful for that support, as am I.

“I have made no promises about the Mounted Section in the future as with the uncertainty about future budgets that would be reckless, but I can assure everybody that I am working with the team to ensure that any decision is made using the best evidence around their contribution to policing in Thames Valley.”

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