A NEW campaign called 'Stand Tall' has been launched by Merseyside Police to keep their horses on the streets.

Back in 1886, Liverpool Police became the first police force in Britain to maintain a permanent Mounted Section and a new chapter in its history begins.

Throughout the years, the section has helped royal visits, World Cup matches, a civic reception for The Beatles and trophy processions for Everton and Liverpool.

However, the force is now launching brand and sponsorship packages to help the section stand tall.

Regularly used to visit schools and attend community events, the horses are also deployed to patrol Liverpool city centre at weekends and to help control crowds at football matches.

They also guide the victorious horse in the Grand National to the winner's enclosure.

Chief constable Andy Cooke said: “We are extremely proud of the Mounted Section, which has been standing tall for more than 130 years, providing a vital service for generations of officers and the people of Merseyside.

“We are convinced of the value of keeping the horses, but significant cuts to public services have prompted us to look even more creatively at how they can continue to provide the same level of service to the public.

“Giving the Section a clearly defined brand and attracting corporate sponsorship will allow the force to maintain the department so the horses can continue to be a strong operational resource.

"It will also enable us to reinvest the existing budget will be reinvested in to other areas of front line policing.

“Recent research shows the presence of a horse can have the same impact as 12 officers on foot, as well as a calming effect on crowds.”

The logo for the Merseyside Mounted Police is inspired by Murphy’s Law, a police horse who loyally served the force for 14 years.

Murphy died last year, shortly after becoming a social media star when he posed in front of Liver Bird wings street art on Jamaica Street in Liverpool.

As part of a range of sponsorship packages, companies will be able to name a horse for a year, adopt a horse, be a keeper for the day and even get their logo on the saddles of the horses who will lead the Grand National winner into the winner's enclosure.

Merseyside’s Police commissioner Jane Kennedy said: "Merseyside Police’s Mounted Unit plays an essential role in maintaining public confidence in the Force.

"The horses break down barriers that might come between the public and the police.

"The horses provide reassurance to large crowds and assist police colleagues on foot in safely delivering the crowds to their destination.

"I was determined to do everything I could to protect this important police unit.

"I first considered looking at new ways to preserve the mounted section back in 2015 when cuts of up to 40% were being threatened by the then coalition Government.

"While those staggering cuts were thankfully averted, our budget has still been cut by £17m in the last three years and we have a further £7m of cuts to make this year.

"That is why the Chief Constable and I are taking the unusual step of seeking sponsorship for aspects of the mounted unit’s costs.

"Stand Tall is a wonderful concept which will resonate with the Liverpool city region.

"I am grateful for the encouragement we have already received and I look forward to working with partners old and new as we promote the ambassadors of this amazing police force, our police horses and the officers who ride them."

For more information about the Merseyside Mounted Police and opportunities for sponsorship visit www.merseysidepolicemounted.uk