Meeting London’s Current and Future Policing Needs (Supplementary) [13]

Session date: 
December 9, 2014
Question By: 
Kit Malthouse
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

Question

OK, the other area I wanted to ask you about was the horse, the mounted units, an area I know that is close to your heart.  There has been some research recently about the effectiveness of mounted police officers, both in visibility and in terms of enforcement.  In effectiveness, I do not know if you have seen the hilarious video of a motorcyclist just on London Wall, I think doing a wheelie, being stopped by a mounted police officer very effectively and dealt with.  What are the plans for the mounted units going forward?

Answer

Answer for Meeting London’s Current and Future Policing Needs (Supplementary) [13]

Answer for Meeting London’s Current and Future Policing Needs (Supplementary) [13]

Answered By: 
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

We are trebling them!

 

Kit Malthouse AM:  Good.

 

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis):  No, we are not.  Whenever I am here, they were soon to get rid of them, or halve them, and we have had one or two Assistant Commissioners who do not like animals, we have moved those! However, I think there is no doubt an accountant would say, “Well what do you get out of the money you spend on horse and dogs?”  Even if you redeployed about 115 officers into the boroughs, by the time you split them around five shifts we would not get much effect.  I think they do have a power and every so often we need them and I think we are foolish to remove that sort of thing.  However, in straight numbers, could you prove it?  I think it is quite hard.  We are encouraging them to do more things like get a camera on the head, they are 15-foot high, and in crowds they are able to gather evidence, and they do make arrests and they do issue tickets, however not at the rate of people who walk.  However that is not where - I propose - that they have most benefit.  They have a good relationship with the public, people come and talk.  With those people who are involved in violence, then they are able to disturb that.  We use them at football matches, like patrolling at West Ham a week on Saturday in my tour of all the football grounds of London, and they have a power beyond 200 police officers.  We do not over-use it, we do not under-use it, however I think they have a value.

 

Kit Malthouse AM:  OK, so they are not under threat either.  That is great.