Sponsors considered to keep mounted police

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Merseyside mounted Police on duty. Pic © Jack Maguire

Merseyside mounted police on duty. Pic © Jack Maguire

Amid cuts of £20m to its budget, Merseyside Police chiefs are considering asking businesses for sponsors to keep their mounted force running.

As cuts begin to take hold, the Merseyside Police says it has been forced to look for funds from outside in order to keep its mounted section, which polices major sporting events and others.

Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “Merseyside Police is facing such a dire financial situation that we are now being forced to consider going outside the force to seek funding to maintain our highly valued mounted section.”

As well as the mounted section comprised of 21 officers, many police community support officers (PCSOs) are also said to be at risk in the midst of the new cuts.

Previous to this freshest set of budget restraints, more than 1,500 officers have lost their jobs since April 2011 as a direct result of cuts.

Commissioner Kennedy said: “This is very much a last resort, but it is an option we are now looking into as we don’t have anywhere else to turn.

“We would desperately like to hold on to this very important unit and if it means using, within very strict conditions and boundaries, external sponsorship, then that is something we are prepared to try.”

The force will not make its decision on whether or not to seek a sponsor until February 2016, but it is currently in talks with unions over the cuts.

This is not the first time that Merseyside Police have sought after funding from outside of the force, with the Liverpool BID company, which represents over 1,500 businesses in Liverpool, currently sponsoring two police posts in the city.

About James Gamble, JMU Journalism