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Demise of Cleveland police horse section discussed by councillors
THE loss of police horses on the streets of Cleveland was discussed by councillors today, Wednesday, September 11.
The issue was on the agenda of Middlesbrough Borough Council’s Community Safety and Leisure Scrutiny Panel, although no-one from Cleveland Police attended.
Campaigners had hoped to raise £521,000 to keep the mounted section of Cleveland Police, but despite a petition, failed to raise the money.
The decision by chief constable Jacqui Cheer will save about £88,000. However more than £500,000 was needed to pay for police officers and other personnel who will now be redeployed.
Speaking at the Middlesbrough Town Hall meeting, coun Len Junier, said he was disappointed no-one from the police attended. He said the point wasn’t to discuss the decision to cut the mounted section, but the consequences.
He said: “We were told those horses were a huge luxury and were only out a couple of hours a week and so on. But when we had 6,500 right-wing crackpots on the streets of Middlesbrough in a demonstration they used the horses to great effect. How would they deal with that today? That’s the kind of issue we want answered.”
However coun Shamal Biswas argued the decision was made and there was no point discussing it further. He said: “At least we looked at it, but it’s not a good idea to open this up again. It’s done.”
Chairman of the committee, coun Peter Purves, said it was an emotive issue but pointed out the police was having to make £26m of cuts due to Government austerity measures.
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