Surrey Police has said it will investigate an incident in which its members rammed a cow with a police vehicle, throwing it with force some 20-30m away, before using the vehicle to pin the animal to the ground.

Videos posted to social media show the four-wheel drive police vehicle collide with what it described as a “cow running loose in Staines-upon-Thames” on Friday night, 14 June.

The animal, which appears to be young, was seen being rammed from behind and knocked to the ground where it struggles to regain its feet before being driven over by the front of the police vehicle and being pinned to the ground by it.

In a statement issued by Surrey Police, the force said: “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.

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

“Unfortunately, these were unsuccessful, and the decision was made to stop it using a police car. This matter has been referred to our Professional Standards Department. The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has been notified and a voluntary referral will be made in due course.”

Surrey Police said the animal was moved to a nearby farm, the owner located and the animal’s injuries assessed by a vet.

“The cow sustained a large cut to its leg, and the vet is overseeing its continued treatment and recovery.”

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.”


James Cleverly, the UK Home Secretary, whose remit includes oversight of the police force, took to social media to post: “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.”