§ Mr. Morgan
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many police forces in England and Wales have mounted police units; and what information he has on the average cost per mounted police unit;
(2) what consultations he has had in relation to the value for money of mounted police units; what is the most recent report from the chief inspector of constabulary on the criteria for established mounted police units; and if he will make a statement.823W
§ Mr. Charles Wardle
Eighteen police forces in England and Wales have mounted police units. These vary in size from the Metropolitan police, with 201 horses, to the Essex police, with four horses. The average size of a mounted unit is 26 horses with 34 police officers and civilian staff. The total cost of such a unit is estimated at £820,900 for the current financial year.
I have not had any recent consultations in relation to the value of money of mounted police units. Her Majesty's inspectorate of constabulary identifies and gives advice on good practice in the course of inspections of mounted units but there has been, as yet, no specific study of value for money or the criteria for establishing mounted units. However, the Metropolitan police is currently carrying out an efficiency scrutiny of its mounted unit.