Eight police horses in Nottinghamshire have been given a reprieve, and will be funded for another year.

The Nottinghamshire Police mounted unit has been under threat of closure for several years due to proposed police budgetary cuts (news, 20 September 2007). But last week the Police Authority announced there are sufficient funds to keep the horses until at least the end of 2008.

“There were concerns, due to the shrinking police budget, that funding wouldn’t be available,” said a police spokesman. “The mounted unit has a significant role to play in policing in Nottinghamshire, and we’re very pleased to keep it going.”

As well as assisting in policing, the horses are a popular part of the community. An adoption scheme for local schools was launched four years ago, and now has nearly 70 schools signed up.

“The schools don’t pay, it’s a community awareness project,” said a Police Authority spokesman. “A police horse is assigned to a school, which in return receives newsletters, photographs, visits and news on the horse’s activities.”

The spokesman added: “The scheme has really brought the community together.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (13 March, ’08)