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TVP Mounted Section gets funding until 2019

Mounted Section

12:17pm 20th February 2018

Thames Valley's mounted police are protected until 2019.

The news comes after worries the unit, based in Milton Keynes, could be scrapped sooner because of budget pressures.

TVP's Chief Constable says they'll explore other ways of funding the team in the future.

Chief Constable Francis Habgood said:

"In December 2017 Thames Valley Police considered options to bridge the funding gap that it was forecasting in its budget for the next three years. At that time there was still a projected funding shortfall of over £4m in 2018/19, and similar amounts in future years, and options were considered to help to address this. Given these financial pressures the Mounted Section was one area which, reluctantly, was identified for removal from June 2019.

He added that the Police and Crime Commissioner's decision in January 2018 to accept the greater flexibility around the local precept element of Council Tax in 2018/19 (£12 increase on a Band D house) eased the immediate financial pressures for the force and the need to make any immediate decisions about the Mounted Section.

CC Habgood said TVP will continue to review the budgets for future years, considering inflationary pressures, opportunities to take advantage of similar precept flexibility in 2019/20 and operational requirements.

He continued:

"I met members of the Mounted Section last week (6 February) and had a really good discussion with them about the budget, their role and the value they add to policing. I was really impressed with their passion and the work they had done to present a case to me.

"We agreed that over the next few months they will collate additional data around their deployments, the income they generate from other forces and their costs. They will also explore opportunities for using Special Constables within the team and further funding streams, for example through sponsorship. We agreed that we would meet again in October.

"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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