Officer removed from duty after ramming runaway cow with car, UK police says

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun14,2024
Key Points
  • Footage that appeared online shows a young cow in a residential street being hit twice by a police car.
  • Police said they tried a number of options to safely capture the cow before deciding to use the police car.
  • Authorities said the matter had been referred to the police force’s Professional Standards Department.
An officer who tried to intercept a fleeing cow by hitting it with a vehicle in England has been removed from duty, police said.
The incident occurred on Friday evening after police were called to a sighting of a cow in a residential area of the small town of Staines-upon-Thames in southern England.
Surrey Police said on Sunday that the officer driving the car had been “removed from frontline duties pending the outcome of these investigations”.

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

Images published on social media and in the British press showed a police car hitting the animal twice. The cow ended up with its head and upper body trapped under the police car.
“I can think of no reasonable need for this action. I’ve asked for a full, urgent explanation for this. It appears to be unnecessarily heavy handed,” home secretary James Cleverly wrote on social media platform X.
On Saturday, police said that after several unsuccessful attempts to recover the cow and taking public safety into account, a decision was made to intercept the cow using the police vehicle.

The 10-month-old cow, christened “Beau Lucy”, was examined by a vet and reunited with its owner who said the animal was “doing better”.

Eyewitness describes the incident

Warehouse worker Kai Bennetts, 22, of Feltham in west London said the cow, which looked young, was left with an “open gash” after it was hit by the police car and thrown several metres down the road.
Bennetts, who said he was “disgusted” by what he saw, told the PA news agency: “One of its back right legs had loads of grazes where the skin had come off.”
After the first strike, he said: “It (the cow) tried to get back up, and then they (the police) pushed it back over and blocked it by its neck and top half of his body and so it couldn’t get up.

“Inhumane is all I can say.”

Surrey Police earlier said the cow was running loose throughout the evening on a number of main roads.
The force was responding after being alerted by calls reporting that a car had been damaged and the animal was running at members of the public.
Officers were extremely concerned about the public’s safety, and over a period of a number of hours tried a number of options to safely capture the cow, the force said.

The police then decided to use the police car to stop the cow.

“The decision to use the police car is one that was only taken after other methods to stop the cow had failed,” chief inspector Sam Adcock said.
“There will be an investigation into the actions that led to this, but our focus at all times is on ensuring the safety of the public.”
The RSPCA spokesman said the animal welfare group had contacted police after seeing the “upsetting” and “distressing” footage.

“All animals should be treated with respect. Together we can create a better world for all animals.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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