News broke the day Tom Winsor took his new position as Chief Consabulary that the Lincolnshire Mounted Unit may be scraped this week, also many regions are warming up to G4S -
THE former chairman of Notts Police authority says it would be disastrous if the force sold its horses.
Notts Police has proposed closing the mounted unit as part of its bid to find savings of £42.3m.
It would save £93,000 a year, and raise an extra £20,000 from the sale of horses.
But ex-police authority chairman John Clarke is opposing the move and has urged people to attend a meeting at County Hall at 10.30am on Wednesday, where he and other members of the authority will meet to decide whether to approve the proposal.
“I think it will be a disaster for Notts Police,” he said.
“The horses have proved their worth year after year, and to see them taken away for such a small amount of money compared to the police’s budget is the wrong move.
“The horse is amazing in areas that are difficult to police and even people who break the law tend to start talking to the horses, which helps build bridges between officers and the public.
“I’ll be very disappointed on Wednesday if the police authority decided to dispense with the services of the mounted division.”
During 2011, the mounted unit took part in 252 ‘reassurance patrols’, 27 public disorder patrols and 22 football matches.
It was also present at eight demonstrations, nine parades, six open-country searches and 12 community events.
If the unit was closed, horses would be rented from other forces when required.
A police spokesman said the force had other options for policing large crowds if the mounted unit was closed.
He said he could not say how long it would take for a horse to be sent to Notts from another area if required.
“The force has a full range of tactical options available to officers for the policing of public order situations,” he said.
“It would be inappropriate to discuss the use of resources belonging to other forces before any decision has been made on this issue.”
Staff in the mounted unit would be used elsewhere in the force.
Two grooms would be made redundant if no other suitable post was vacant. The cost of this would be £5,000.
Mr Clark added: “If a person in the street is being a nuisance, they tend to back off from the horses, like they do with the dog, but if you have one or two cops, they are less likely to do so.
“Horses can do the job of 20 officers and I hope that is demonstrated to the meeting.”
Police authority chairman Jon Collins declined to comment on the proposal before the meeting.
He added: “I think we should have a discussion on Wednesday and make a decision then in light of evidence and the advice of the Chief Constable.”
Via Reuters Today
(Reuters) – G4S is in line to win more British police work this year after an alliance between Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire forces commissioned a report into which services they could outsource to the world’s biggest security firm.
All three police authorities this week backed a move to join an outsourcing framework agreement established by G4S and Lincolnshire police authority last year as they look to tackle government budget cuts and find total savings of 73 million pounds ($113 million) by 2015/16.
Many of Britain’s police forces are considering letting private sector firms run non-core operations like finance, IT and HR as they aim to save front-line policing but reduce costs.
G4S started a 200-million-pound, 10-year contract in April to build and run a police station for Lincolnshire as well as provide services such as IT, fleet management, firearms licensing and training. It says it will save the force 28 million pounds over the duration of the deal.
A report by Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire police authorities, expected in November, will now establish which services they too could outsource to G4S as the forces prepare for more budget squeezes beyond 2015/16.
Any contract would not begin before April 2013.
Seven other UK police authorities are also attached to the original Lincolnshire framework and have the option to take up similar service agreements in future.
West Midlands and Surrey police have also shortlisted six bidders, including G4S, for a contract worth around 1.5 billion pounds to deliver a wide range of services to them and other British forces including guarding crime scenes, patrolling neighbourhoods and collecting CCTV footage.
An update on that deal is expected in the autumn.