Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Statement on Surrey Police's response to a cow on the loose

We received two complaint referrals from Surrey Police on 17 June in relation to the actions and decision-making by officers from the force while trying to detain a cow in Feltham, west London, on Friday 14 June.

Footage of the cow being struck by a police car was shared widely on social media and we have examined this along with footage and audio provided by the force from the officers’ body-worn videos, along with police incident logs.

They detail the animal ramming a police car, charging at members of the public and posing a risk to road users.

After careful consideration, we have decided that an investigation is required into whether the methods used to contain the cow were appropriate and proportionate in these circumstances, and whether the officers upheld police standards of professional behaviour throughout the incident, including their communication with members of the public who were present.

However, we do not consider the investigation needs to be undertaken by the IOPC so it will be for Surrey’s professional standards department to take it forward.

If the complainants are unhappy with the outcome of the investigation they will have a right of review to the IOPC, providing a level of independent oversight.

  • Annually, the IOPC receives 7000 referrals a year from police forces and conducts between 260-280 independent investigations.
  • A complainant must be a member of the public who:
    • claims to be the person in relation to whom the conduct took place
    • claims to have been adversely affected by the conduct
    • claims to have witnessed the conduct, or
    • is acting on behalf of someone who satisfies one of the above three criteria
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