CAMPAIGNERS hoping for a u-turn over the decision to axe the Essex Police Mounted Unit have been defeated.

Essex and Nottinghamshire Police both cut the horseback teams two months ago.

But while the new police and crime commisisoner for Nottinghamshire has decided to review the decision there is on such lifeline in Essex.

Nick Alston, the new police and crime commissioner for Essex, said: “It’s sad but the decision to disband the mounted section has been taken.

“Essex Police has already lost hundreds of officers, PCSOs and staff, and the force is having to deal with large budget cuts.

“I’ve talked to the chief constable about the decision to disband the mounted section, and I think it was the right one.

“The mounted section team was reformed in December 2007, and have been loyal servants to Essex Police.

“I add my voice of gratitude for their sterling work on behalf of everyone in our county.”

The decision was taken in October despite a 5,000 signature petition to save the popular unit.