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Police commissioner to question policing of pilot badger cull
Updated 5:07pm Wednesday 7th May 2014 in News
GLOUCESTERSHIRE'S Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl will ask senior officers to explain the Constabulary’s handling of last year’s pilot badger cull.
A special scrutiny meeting is taking place on Monday at 6 pm and will involve the Chief Constable Suzette Davenport and other senior officers who had key roles in Operation Themis, the police response to the pilot badger cull.
The pilot culls were due to run for six weeks last year, with the aim of killing 70 per cent of badgers in each area, but both schemes were extended after initial figures suggested just 58 per cent of badgers were eradicated in Somerset and 30 per cent in Gloucestershire.
And the culls are set tol continue this year as part of efforts to tackle tuberculosis (TB) in cattle, but the controversial scheme will not be rolled out to other areas.
Mr Surl said: “Now that the dust has settled and the Police are preparing for the next phase of the cull, I think the time is right to raise some of the issues arising from last year’s cull.
“Having spoken to all sides – before, during and after the event – it is clear they believe the police have questions to answer.
"My own view is that very few people - pro-cull lobbyists, campaigners, activists and sympathisers on either side of the argument – rarely understood the role of the police and we also need to get to the bottom of that before phase two of the cull begins later in the year.
“One of the important aspects of my job is to hold the police to account. My aim is to be as open and transparent as possible and this is the best way of achieving that”.
Although the special scrutiny meeting will not be directly open to the public in the council chamber at Stroud District Council members of the public can watch it as it is being streamed “live” on-line via a web link. Visit strouddc.public-i.tv/core/ for details.
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