Police Commissioner responds to Labour concerns on badger cull

sue badger
Police Commissioner Sue Mountstevens ‘in the spotlight’.

The Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner has responded to Labour’s challenge over the policing of the badger cull in West Somerset. Labour raised a series of questions about the presence of representatives from the NFU and contractors carrying out the shooting in the police control room.

In response, Commissioner Sue Mountstevens has said:

“The badger cull has been an emotive issue for everyone that has been involved. As the voice of local people, I have been keen to take the time to listen to all who have been affected one way or another by the cull. I have met with the badger protestors and been out on patrol with them. I have also met with representatives from the National Farmers Union. The Constabulary have a duty to police the cull while ensuring the safety and rights of those wishing to peacefully protest. However I have listened to residents and I have gathered constructive comments which I will ensure influence future policing.”

But Will Police policy change?

This could be good news or bad news. We need to know more about whether the police will be changing their policy. In response to the Commissioner’s statement, Labour has said:

We are glad that Sue Mountstevens is listening to people’s concerns about the policing of the badger cull. But her response does not answer our questions. One of our most important concerns is over confidentiality. We want to know whether representatives of the NFU and the shooting contractors were privy to confidential information about individuals gathered by the police, such as addresses, dates of birth and vehicle registration numbers. .

“We understand that in Gloucestershire, shooting contractor representatives did not go into the police control room. Instead, police officers were sent to observe at the control room being operated by the contractors. We think this is a much better arrangement.

“We are still awaiting a full response from Sue Mounstevens to our detailed questions. We hope that policy on future policing operations will be adjusted to answer the concerns of ourselves and others”

Labour is opposed to the killing of badgers as there is no scientific evidence that it is a solution to the problem of TB in cattle. We believe the police must be answerable to the public and we remain concerned about any suggestion that groups such as the NFU could be involved in policing decisions.


West Somerset Labour Party: 07974 030753



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chris tasker
chris tasker
9 years ago

the headline is all wrong !! the police commissioner clearly has not responded to the concerns expressed……she has produced a bit of puffery designed to NOT respond !!

Graham Shepherd
9 years ago

The statement clearly avoids answering the question.
Even those in favour of the cull must realise that it is the police’s job to uphold the law without taking sides.
The commissioner may think she is the voice of the people but her job is to be neutral and uphold the law, not simply obey “the will of the people”

Graham Forsyth
Graham Forsyth
9 years ago

I am very concerned that from speaking to a number of fellow badger patrol collogues that a high level of searches, spot checks on vehicles; some for having the wrong shade of red on tail lights were carried out. Again I assume that this is the reason that our registration numbers are collected and distributed at each nightly briefing, to allow this stop and search and harassment activity to take place. Again it would appear that Avon and Somerset constabulary are acting as agents of the NFU and again I would ask if any of our personal data was passed over to the NFU which is a Trade Association for large farm estates.

If teachers went out on struck you would now expect to see members of the NUT in the place control room advising on the management of picket lines at schools!

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