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Surrey Police officer who rammed cow removed from frontline duties

The police officer who used his vehicle to ram into an escaped cow on a suburban street in Surrey has been removed from frontline duties.

Surrey Police said the incident happened on Friday at roughly 8.55pm after it had received reports of a loose cow in Staines-upon-Thames.

An internal investigation was soon launched after footage emerged on social media of the 10-month old calf being hit twice by the car, prompting a wave of complaints.

Deputy Chief Constable Nev Kemp said: “I fully appreciate the distress our handling of this incident has caused and will ensure that it is thoroughly and diligently investigated.

“In addition to an internal referral to our Professional Standards Department, we have also referred the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) for independent consideration.

“At this time, the officer who was driving the police car has been removed from frontline duties pending the outcome of these investigations.”

The video also drew criticism from Home Secretary James Cleverley and several major animal rights groups, including the RSPCA.

Mr Cleverley said the incident appeared “unnecessarily heavy-handed” and asked for “a full, urgent explanation”.

Local police said they had been responding to reports that the cow had been running at members of the public and had damaged a vehicle.

Surrey’s police and crime commissioner Lisa Townsend, said: “There is much speculation on social media, which does not necessarily reflect the situation, which was ongoing for a number of hours, or the difficult decisions facing officers on the ground at the time.

“I agree the force were right to opt for a self referral in this instance, and I know they are also thoroughly evaluating the incident internally.”

The move comes after the cow’s owners recently called for the police officer responsible “to lose his job”, telling Sky News the incident was “disgusting”.

Rob, the farmer who owns the cow, said it has been located and assessed by a vet and said he imagines that the police responsible “have no idea about farm animals”.

“It was wrong and I think that’s the message we’ve learned,” he added. “It could have been handled so much better.”

The cow has no broken bones according to Kate, the partner of the farmer, and it is currently recovering from the collision, though it is still in danger of dying from shock.

“I don’t know if it was his decision to drive at the animal or whether he was instructed to, but the police, when they got out of the car, looked pretty agitated themselves,” she added.

Kate said it was “a shame” that Surrey Police had not got in touch with local farmers for advice about how to restrain the cow, or chosen to use a tranquillizer. She thinks the cow, which they named Beau Lucy, may have first escaped its confines after swimming over a river.

Other voices to weigh in on the issue included wildlife activist and presenter Chris Packham, who said the incident was “surely illegal and must be investigated and prosecuted”.

The Springwatch presenter added: “What sort of monster rams a calf? Twice?”

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