The Essex Police mounted unit could be disbanded to save £600,000. 

The force has informed Essex Police Authority it plans to cut the unit, which contains nine officers, and is now consulting on the proposals. 

Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle said: "Essex Police is committed to providing the best and most effective policing service possible to our communities.


"In these times of unprecedented financial pressures, the force is faced with very hard choices, and the proposal to disband the Mounted Section is made with great reluctance.”


A spokesman added: "It should also be stressed that the welfare of the horses will be paramount and, if the unit is disbanded, it is not anticipated that this will lead to the destruction of any police horses.

"There are only eight police forces in the country which still retain a dedicated Mounted Section."