Disturbing footage of police car ramming cow condemned by home secretary James Cleverly

Disturbing footage of police car ramming cow condemned by home secretary James Cleverly

The home secretary has demanded an explanation after a video showing a cow being rammed by a police vehicle went viral on social media.

The video shows the animal loose in a residential street before the police car knocks it along the tarmac and then drives into it again, pinning it down.

Surrey Police said there had been reports of the cow running at people and damaging cars across Staines-Upon-Thames at around 9pm on Friday.

The cow was rampaging through Staines-Upon-Thames (Kai Bennetts/PA Wire)
The cow was rampaging through Staines-Upon-Thames (Kai Bennetts/PA Wire)

Footage appears to show a member of the public running away before the cow is rammed by a marked police 4x4 vehicle – to the shock of residents watching on.

Police say the cow sustained a large cut to its leg.

Did you witness this incident? Please get in contact with barney.davis.ind@independent.co.uk

Among the social media users questioning the police officers’ actions was Home Secretary James Cleverly, who posted on X: “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.”

BBC wildlife presenter and activist Chris Packham said: “I don’t know where to start with this.

“But it’s surely illegal and must be investigated and prosecuted. What sort of monster rams a calf? Twice?”

Police said a passer-by helped move the injured cow to a nearby farm in the early hours of Saturday.

The force said the owner has been located and that the cow will be assessed by a vet.

A Surrey Police spokesperson said: “Yesterday evening, at around 8.55pm, we received reports that a cow was running loose in Staines-upon-Thames.

“The cow was running loose throughout the evening on a number of main roads and, during this time, we received numerous calls from the public reporting a car being damaged and it running at members of the public.

“Given these reports, 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.

“Unfortunately, these were unsuccessful and the decision was made to stop it using a police car.”

He said the collision will be referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and the Professional Standards Department.

Chief Inspector Sam Adcock said: "I know that this has caused distress and I'd like to thank the community for their concern.

“The decision to use the police car is one that was only taken after other methods to stop the cow had failed.

“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.

"I know there are videos circulating of this incident, which the public may find distressing.

“I would ask that these videos are sent directly to us to help with our investigation."