Police apologise after calling animal rights activists "idiots"

Jessica Carpani
Police apologise after calling animal rights activists

Devon and Cornwall police have apologised after an officer appeared to call animal rights activists “idiots” at a badger cull briefing.

This comes a week after The Sunday Telegraph revealed that animal rights activists have secretly filmed a series of security and planning meetings between police and marksmen organising this autumn’s badger cull.

The undercover filming obtained by the campaign group Stop the Cull revealed a police liaison officer advising farmers and marksmen on how to deal with activists. 

The officer called went on to call the activists “idiots” on three occasions but warned against violence towards them, according to the video. 

However, he said in reference to previous situations: “I tell you what, some situations they were in, I’d have had trouble keeping my hands to myself.”

A spokesperson for the police force said the officer had not behaved in an “impartial manner” and added that action would be taken against him.

They said: “We do not condone the language used by the liaison officer and we’d like to apologise for the views expressed. Once the full circumstances are established, the officer will be subject to appropriate management action. 

“The officer will be closely supervised and any further suggestion of non-impartiality will result in them playing no further part in this year’s operation.”

Jay Tiernan, a spokesperson for Stop the Cull said: “The police have once again shown they are in no way impartial when it comes to dealing with protesters.”

He went on to call the officer’s actions “insensitive”. 

He said the cameras placed at traps were “vital to prove criminal activity.”