Campaigners have been out in force in Beverley, East Yorkshire, protesting against controversial plans to axe Humberside police’s mounted division.
Former chief constable Tim Hollis has said that terminating the Walkington unit, which currently comprises six horses, by March 2014, would save it £500,000 a year.
But one hundred campaigners — including several on horseback — armed with 2,000 signatures on a petition, marched from Beverley racecourse into the town centre last weekend (26 May) in a last-ditch attempt to save the division.
Mike Dickenson, who runs a riding and rural supplies shop behind the police stables with his wife, Marie, told the Hull Daily Mail: “I am disgusted by the police’s plans. The mounted section is very much needed. Only last week they were used to search for a missing man and to police a march in Hull city centre.”
Amanda Beal, from the town, held a banner that read: “Don’t be reliant on other forces — use your heads and keep our horses.”
In a statement issued before his retirement in March, Chief Constable Hollis said: “I realise, of course, that the public and many officers and police staff, serving and retired, will regret the loss of a mounted section which has been an integral part of policing across Humberside for so many years.
“I share that sadness but we are in a period when sentiment has come up against austerity and hard decisions must be made.”