Op Themis Statements

Operation Themis

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has decided to allow a pilot cull of badgers to go ahead in Gloucestershire at any time from 1 June 2013. We understand this is a sensitive issue. We are not responsible for the cull. The badger cull is a Defra policy that is being implemented by private companies under licence by Natural England. It will be up to them to determine where and when it starts.

However, we will be providing a policing response to the cull and any incidents arising from it. This will be neutral and independent of the cull. Our role - called Operation Themis - is to deliver our statutory responsibilities which include dealing with any incidents of crime and disorder and ensuring that anyone who wishes to protest peacefully is able to do so. We will also be continuing to deliver an effective local policing service before, during and after the proposed cull.

On this area of our website, you can see a variety of information about Operation Themis. It includes more information about our approach as well as some frequently asked questions and answers about it.

 
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29/11/13 - Statement on Op Themis

We are aware of today's announcement regarding the pilot badger cull.

Public safety has been at the heart of all we have done during Operation Themis, our policing response to the pilot badger cull in Gloucestershire, and this weekend we will continue to deploy our staff to provide support to our local communities. Whilst the pilot scheme may be over, we realise that we have a long lasting responsibility to support our local communities and we will strive to ensure that they remain safe and crime free.

The pilot cull has been a sensitive issue that has divided opinion country-wide. Our operation has been delivered in an impartial and independent manner, free from any external influence. Our aim was to safeguard public safety, respond to incidents of crime and disorder and to ensure that anyone who wished to protest peacefully and lawfully was able to do so. We will, of course, continue to fulfil these roles as appropriate.

We would like to thank all parties involved for their cooperation and support for Operation Themis and for the feedback we have received.  

21/11/13 - Statement on Op Themis - MP Letter

Since the start of Operation Themis, Gloucestershire Constabulary has deployed a significant number of resources to ensure all our communities are safe, that people are able to protest peacefully and lawfully and to deal with any incidents of crime.  On a daily basis we review the numbers of officers, locations and tactics we use, so we are in line with our stated approach to the operation. 

The recent increase in the number of officers deployed as part of Operation Themis comes after a series of reports about cages being damaged or stolen and tracking devices being attached to contractors vehicles. Officers are currently investigating these allegations but to prevent any further occurrences, are considering forensic marking, CCTV and other targeted methods.  If anyone has any information about this, we ask that you call us on 101 or email us on 101@gloucestershire.police.uk.

We can confirm we have received a letter via email last night from three Gloucestershire MPs expressing similar issues in relation to the government's pilot badger cull.  We are looking into this and will respond in due course.

However, as we regularly receive reports and counter claims regarding the pilot badger cull, we would like to take this opportunity to ask all parties, whatever their views on the cull, to act responsibly. 

30/10/13 - Statement

Following a query from members of the public opposed to the cull, we can confirm that Gloucestershire Police has granted variations to a number of firearms licences in connection with the badger cull.

This variation will enable certain contractors to use their firearm to participate in the cull, subject to conditions.

16/10/13 - Statement 

Gloucestershire Police responded to a collision on Worcester Street in Gloucester at around 12:50am on Sunday (September 29).

A Volkswagen transporter van registered to an address in Buckinghamshire had collided with the bus stop on Worcester Street.

The van is believed to have been carrying a number of badger carcasses. 

A 27-year-old man from Altrincham has been reported for summons to court for driving without a licence.

15/10/13 - Statement

There has been a lot of speculation about when the pilot badger cull will end. That is not a matter for the Constabulary to comment on. Instead, it is a matter for Defra, Natural England or the operating company to determine.

There has also been speculation about a potential extension to the licence to allow the operating company to continue with the cull when the initial licence runs out in Gloucestershire. Again, that is a matter for Defra, Natural England or the operating company.

We would like to make it clear that, any interference with setts, killing or attempted killing of badgers without a licence is illegal. If anyone has evidence of that happening, they are encouraged to report it to police by dialling 101.

14/10/13 - Statement - Investigation Into Blocked Badger Sett

Gloucestershire Police are investigating reports that two out of four entrances to a badger sett in the Redmarley area have been blocked.

Any interference with setts, killing or attempted killing of badgers without a licence is illegal and unacceptable.

If anyone has evidence of that happening, they are encouraged to report it to police by dialling 101.

Officers will be liaising with the RSPCA and Natural England as part of the investigation.

Two of the entrances are open so the animals are still able to move to and from the sett.

14/10/13 - Statement - Woman Charged With Attempted Theft

A woman arrested as part of Operation Themis, Gloucestershire Constabulary’s response to the pilot badger cull, has been charged with offences.

Madeline Buckler, 31, of Kings Moss Lane, in Kings Moss, Merseyside has been charged with attempting to steal a firearm (Criminal Attempts Act 1981) and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause another harassment alarm or distress (Public Order Act 1986).

She has been bailed to appear at Cheltenham Magistrates Court on November 20 2013.

She was arrested on Friday night (October 11) following an incident in Newent on Wednesday (October 9). 

09/10/13 - Statement 

We are aware of this morning's announcement that Natural England is considering an application for an extension to the pilot badger cull in Somerset. We also note comments by Defra's Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, that he understands an application for Gloucestershire will also be submitted to Natural England.

It is too soon for us to make any further comment at this stage. We will wait until Defra makes further announcements about Gloucestershire.

In the meantime, we are continuing with our policing operation, Themis, in response to the pilot badger cull. The cull is a Defra policy that is being implemented by private companies under licence by Natural England.

Our role is to provide a policing response to the cull and any incidents arising from it. This will be neutral and independent of the cull. We will deliver our statutory responsibilities which include dealing with any incidents of crime and disorder and ensuring that anyone who wishes to protest peacefully is able to do so.

07/10/13 - Statement

“We are aware of a number of rumours surrounding our policing operation in response to the government’s pilot badger cull in Gloucestershire.  The role of the police remains the same – policing will be neutral and independent of any cull and we will deliver our statutory responsibilities to maintain public safety and ensure that everyone - whatever their views, interest or involvement in the pilot badger cull - remains safe and free from fear of harm or intimidation. 

However, over recent nights there has been more direct contact between protestors and the marksmen carrying out the cull.  This has led to some concerns about the safety of the public and we have increased our policing response accordingly.  This is being reviewed on a daily basis to ensure that we continue to help ensure public safety.”

Chief Superintendent Gary Thompson

04/10/13 - Statement - Four Arrests and Investigation Under Way into Discovery of Ammunition

Officers working as part of Operation Themis, the policing response to the badger cull, arrested four people overnight. 

Following reports of excessive noise in the Tibberton area a 37-year-old Coventry woman was arrested on suspicion of breach of an injunction at around 10.30pm yesterday (Thursday October 3).

In a separate incident in the Tibberton area shortly before 11.30pm a 44-year-old woman and 14-year-old girl from Didcot and a 25-year-old man of no fixed abode were arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass.

All four remain in police custody at this time.

 

5/10/13 - Statement Update Four Arrests

The four people arrested overnight on Thursday/Friday as part of Operation Themis have now been released from police custody.

The 37-year-old Coventry woman who was arrested on suspicion of breaching an injunction has been bailed (with a condition not to go within 20 miles of Newent) to appear in Cheltenham Magistrates Court on November 14.

The 44-year-old woman and 14-year-old girl from Didcot and a 25-year-old man of no fixed abode who were arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass have been released on police bail pending further investigations.

 

Statement Update

The 44-year-old woman and 14-year-old girl from Didcot and a 25-year-old man of no fixed abode who were arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and released on police bail have had their bail cancelled. No further action is being taken.


Elsewhere police are investigating after members of the public discovered a box containing 16 cartridges of live ammunition on a footpath.

The box was handed to police and inquiries are ongoing to trace the person responsible for leaving the box on the path.

Chief Superintendent Gary Thompson said "We're really grateful to those who handed in the ammunition. We are making inquiries into who left it there and will take appropriate action as soon as we can identify the person.

"We take this very seriously because as we have said public safety has been our key objective throughout the operation."
 

5/10/13 - Statement Update Discovery of Ammunition

Following the discovery of a box containing 16 cartridges of live ammunition, officers from Gloucestershire Constabulary have identified the person responsible. 

He has now been spoken to about the incident and the variation that allows him to use a particular firearm to shoot badgers has been removed from his licence.

02/10/13 - Statement

An arrest was made overnight as part of Operation Themis, the policing operation in response to the badger cull.

Responding to reports of a vehicle being followed, police arrested a 34-year-old woman from Gloucester in the city shortly after midnight today (Wednesday October 2) on suspicion of breaching an injunction.

The arrest was made in order to prevent harassment.

The woman remains in police custody at this time.

 

 

Statement Update - Woman Released Without Charge

A woman arrested as part of Operation Themis, the policing operation in response to the badger cull, has been released without charge.

The 34-year-old woman from Gloucester was arrested in the city shortly after midnight yesterday (Wednesday October 2) on suspicion of breaching an injunction.

01/10/13 - Statement

In line with ACPO guidance, Gloucestershire Constabulary gives general details of arrests - for example 'a 27 year old man from Gloucester'.  It does not routinely release the specific details of an individual (name, age, address) on arrest.  This is usually given once a suspect has been charged.

If an individual who is arrested by Gloucestershire Constabulary then chooses to speak to the media, that is a private matter.

27/9/13 - Statement - Man Arrested as Part of Operation Themis

Officers working as part of Operation Themis, the policing response to the badger cull, have arrested a man on suspicion of assault.

The incident happened at around 11.30pm yesterday (Thursday September 26) following a disagreement between two groups in the Tirley area.

No one was seriously injured.

A 38-year-old man from the Gloucester area was arrested on suspicion of common assault and currently remains in police custody. 

 

Update - Man Arrested as Part of Operation Themis - 27/9/13

A man arrested on suspicion of assault as part of Operation Themis, the policing response to the badger cull, has been bailed.

The incident happened at around 11.30pm yesterday (Thursday September 26) following a disagreement between two groups in the Tirley area.

No one was seriously injured.

A 38-year-old man from the Gloucester area was arrested on suspicion of common assault and has bailed to attend Gloucester police station on November 4.

 

Update - Man Arrested as Part of Operation Themis - 27/9/13

No further action is being taken against a man who was arrested on Thursday September 26 as part of Operation Themis.

23/9/13 - Statement - Sharing Of Information

Police have discretion under the law to share information with others if there is a pressing social need to do so. The NFU has been granted this injunction at the High Court because it is believed that those carrying out the cull are at risk of harassment. The NFU would not be able to enforce the injunction without details of possible breaches and therefore when we review an incident and suspect a breach of the injunction has taken place we will pass details on to the NFU. The passing of information only happens after careful consideration and depends on the individual circumstances of the alleged breach.

20/9/13 - Statement

“Throughout our policing response to the badger cull (Operation Themis)  we have, and will continue to, facilitate peaceful, legal protest and have been encouraging a ‘no surprises’ approach from all sides. To help those who do wish to protest we feel it is important that they are aware of the injunction and the conditions attached to it so that they can ensure any action they do take is legal. Therefore where officers have been on patrol and met with protestors they have been issued with an explanation of the injunction.”

19/9/13 - Arrest Statement

Three people were arrested in the early hours of this morning (Thursday September 19) as part of Operation Themis - Gloucestershire Constabulary’s response to the pilot badger cull.

A 20-year-old man from Walsall, a 52-year-old woman from Pittsburg in the United States of America and a 26-year-old woman from South Croyden in Surrey were all arrested at around 1.45am on suspicion of aggravated trespass. They were arrested in the Kents Green area of Newent.

All three currently remain in police custody. 

 

Arrest Statement Update 20/9/13

Three people arrested in the early hzours of yesterday morning (Thursday September 19) as part of Operation Themis - Gloucestershire Constabulary’s response to the pilot badger cull have been released on police bail. 

A 20-year-old man from Walsall, a 52-year-old woman from Pittsburg in the United States of America and a 26-year-old woman from South Croyden in Surrey were all arrested at around 1.45am on suspicion of aggravated trespass. They were arrested in the Kents Green area of Newent.

The 52-year-old woman has been bailed to return to the police station on September 22. 

The 20-year-old man and 26-year-old woman have been bailed to return to the police station on November 22.

 

Arrest Statement Update 23/9/13

No further action is being taken against three people that were arrested in the early hours of Thursday morning (September 19) as part of Operation Themis - Gloucestershire Constabulary’s response to the pilot badger cull.

A man from Walsall, a woman from Pittsburg in the United States of America and a woman from South Croyden in Surrey were arrested in the Kents Green area of Newent at around 1.45am. They had been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass. 

All three had been bailed to return to the police station at a later date. This has now been cancelled. 

19/9/13 - Statement  

Public safety is at the forefront of all that Gloucestershire Police do and the issues raised from the Wounded Badger Patrol about loud bangs in the Tibberton area have been examined thoroughly.

We understand that for those members of the Wounded Badger Patrol hearing loud bangs whilst in the area would have caused great concern and so officers immediately worked to identify that there were no contractors and no culling activity taking place.

Those members of the public in the area were informed of this to offer them reassurance that there was no risk to their safety.

It has also been established that the bangs were caused by crow scarers and not fireworks. The crow scarers do not use projectiles and no criminal offences have been committed.

Gloucestershire Constabulary’s response to the pilot cull continues to be aimed at  keeping all our communities safe and feeling safe, dealing with any with any incidents of crime and public disorder and facilitating people's rights to protest.

We have, and will, continue to facilitate peaceful legal protest and if any protestors would like to speak to us there are two dedicated liaison officers available each night.

The liaison officers are trained and selected to undertake the role and are deployed specifically to talk to people or groups of protestors about their concerns and ensure everyone understands what the police are doing and why.  Further details about how to do this are on our website.

17/9/13 - Statement – Fireworks Response

Gloucestershire Constabulary is are aware of comments being made on social media regarding reports that during the evening of Monday September 16 gun shots were fired at protestors by badger cull operators.

Over the course of today (September 17) Gloucestershire Police has established that fireworks were set off by the cull operators. There was no firearms operation taking place in that area at that time.

10/9/13 - Statement – Arrests Made

Four people were arrested in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday September 10) as part of Operation Themis – Gloucestershire Constabulary’s response to the pilot badger cull.

A 46-year-old woman from Evesham, a 46-year-old woman from Cheltenham, a 34-year-old woman from Gloucester and a 23-year-old man from Mansfield in Nottinghamshire were all arrested at around 3.10am on suspicion of theft and aggravated trespass. They were arrested in Redmarley.

The 34-year-old woman was also arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon.

All four currently remain in police custody.

 

 

Update 11/9/13

The four people have now been bailed to return to the police station on November 5th.

 

Update

Bail has been cancelled on the four arrested on September 10. No further action is being taken against them in connection to the incident.

       

9/9/13 - Statement in response to audio footage

Gloucestershire Constabulary have no issue with being filmed and one officer can even be heard in the footage encouraging the recording. 

We have a responsibility to investigate any party for breaches of criminal law and we will do so in a way that is proportionate, necessary and accountable.

If people are suspected of going on to private land as trespassers with the intention of preventing any lawful activity taking place, they may be guilty of aggravated trespass and it is the police’s duty to investigate that. 
As part of the investigation into this offence police must contact any organisation that may have been prevented from carrying out legal activity. This is why in the footage you can hear an officer mention that they have contacted the NFU, the individuals were not detained on behalf of the NFU. 

On this occasion the individuals spoken to were all given words of advice to remain on the public footpaths. No one was taken into custody. 

Gloucestershire Police have and will continue to facilitate peaceful legal protest and if any protestors would like to speak to us there are two dedicated liaison officers available each night. 

The liaison officers are trained and selected to undertake the role and are deployed specifically to talk to people or groups of protestors about their concerns and ensure everyone understands what the police are doing and why.

6/9/13 - Statement

There have been a number of comments on social media in the last 24 hours regarding road closures and arrests in relation to Operation Themis last night. 

We can confirm that 4 people were arrested and then subsequently de-arrested once they had given officers the necessary information. 

A further 4 people were stopped in a lane with vehicles parked on both sides.  Whilst that was happening, the lane was temporarily obstructed by vehicles, including police cars.

If any protestors would like to speak to us, there are 2 dedicated liaison officers available each night.  Any officer will be able to put you in touch with them or you can call 101 and ask to speak to the police liaison officer. The liaison officers are trained and selected to undertake the role and are deployed specifically to talk to people or groups of protestors about their concerns and ensure everyone understand what the police are doing and why.

For further information about Operation Themis and the role of the police, please visit the links above.

3/9/13 - Statement

The badger cull is a Defra policy that is being implemented by private companies under licence by Natural England. It will be up to them to determine where and when it starts.

However, Gloucestershire Constabulary has been planning its response to the cull since it was first announced and this response - Operation Themis - will reach its full capacity at 8pm this evening. 

The operation is aimed at keeping all our communities safe and feeling safe, dealing with any incidents of crime and public disorder and facilitating people's rights to protest. Our role will to be operationally independent, impartial, even-handed and fair to everyone whatever their views, interest or involvement in the pilot scheme. 

27/8/13 - Statement

The proposed pilot badger cull is managed by Natural England under license from DEFRA. In Gloucestershire, the cull will be undertaken by a private operating company. It will be up to them to determine where and when it starts.

Gloucestershire Constabulary has been planning its response to the proposed cull since it was first announced. This response - Operation Themis - is aimed at keeping all our communities safe and feeling safe, dealing with any incidents of crime and public disorder and facilitating people's rights to protest. Our role will to be operationally independent, impartial, even-handed and fair to everyone whatever their views, interest or involvement in the pilot scheme.

Our operation is not yet fully activated. However, in preparation for any cull and due to recent media and social media speculation, there has been some concern in local communities. As a result, we will continue to deploy a proportionate policing response in Gloucestershire over coming days and nights to provide reassurance to those communities and minimise any potential disruption to their lives. This is in keeping with our commitment to deliver an effective local policing service before, during and after the proposed cull.

27/8/13 - Statement 

Gloucestershire Constabulary can confirm that yesterday afternoon (Monday August 26) a man was arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass at Aston Down

The 42-year-old man was later released on police bail until November 4th 2013.

Under the bail conditions set, he has been told he is not allowed to enter or go within 1 mile of the Aston Down Business Park.

 

Statement Update

Bail has been cancelled. No further action is being taken.

26/08/13 - Statement

The proposed pilot badger cull is managed by Natural England under license from DEFRA. In Gloucestershire, the cull will be undertaken by a private operating company. It will be up to them to determine where and when it starts.

Gloucestershire Constabulary has been planning its response to the cull since it was first announced. This response - Operation Themis - is aimed at keeping all our communities safe and feeling safe, dealing with any with any incidents of crime and public disorder and facilitating people's rights to protest. Our role will to be operationally independent, impartial, even-handed and fair to everyone whatever their views, interest or involvement in the pilot scheme.

Our operation is not yet activated. However, due to recent media and social media speculation, there has been some concern in local communities. As a result, we will be deploying a proportionate policing response in Gloucestershire this weekend to provide reassurance to those communities and minimise any potential disruption to their lives. This is in keeping with our commitment to deliver an effective local policing service before, during and after the proposed cull.

23/08/13 - Statement

We were not consulted about the NFU's application for an injunction regarding the proposed pilot badger cull and were not involved in the application or any part of its drafting. We are aware of yesterday's ruling and are now studying it to understand what impact it may have on our policing operation in response to the cull.

22/08/13 - Statement 

We have not been consulted about the NFU's application for an injunction regarding the proposed pilot badger cull and were not involved in the application or any part of its drafting. This is a private matter for the individuals concerned.  When the decision is made by the courts any consequences for policing will be considered carefully.

22/08/13 - Statement 

The pilot badger cull is a Defra-managed issue under license from Natural England and it will be up to both of them and the company licensed to undertake the cull to determine the timing of it.

Gloucestershire Constabulary has been planning its response to the cull - Operation Themis - since it was first announced but this operation is not yet activated.  We will not be releasing any further details of our plans for operational reasons.

However, we would like people in Gloucestershire to be reassured that we will continue to deliver an effective local policing service before, during and after the proposed cull.

27/03/13 - Statement Regarding Policing of Proposed Pilot Badger Cull

"We have been informed of Defra’s decision to issue a licence for a pilot cull of badgers to go ahead in Gloucestershire at any point from 1 June 2013. The cull is a Defra-managed issue under license from Natural England and it will be up to both of them and the company licensed to undertake the cull to determine the timing of it.

"Policing will be neutral and independent of any cull. We will deliver our statutory responsibilities which include dealing with any incidents of crime and disorder and ensuring that anyone who wishes to protest peacefully and lawfully is able to do so.

"We are committed to working with any groups or individuals who want to exercise their right to peaceful protest and we want to ensure there are no surprises from, or to, any party involved. To that end, we would ask any groups or individuals wishing to protest to contact us so that we can help make sure their protest is safe and lawful.

"For operational reasons, we will not go into details of our plans but we would like people in Gloucestershire to be reassured that we will continue to deliver an effective local policing service before, during and after the proposed cull.

"At this stage, it is not possible or appropriate to put a figure on any costs of policing for the proposed cull but we have been told that any additional policing costs will be met by the Home Office.”

Superintendent Jim McCarthy, Gloucestershire Constabulary

27/02/13 - Statement:

"In light of the recent of protest activity around the Forthampton estate in Gloucestershire, we would like to remind all interested parties of our response to the proposed pilot badger cull. Gloucestershire Constabulary is operationally independent of the pilot cull and is taking a neutral stance. Our role is to deliver our statutory responsibilities which include dealing with any incidents of crime and disorder and ensuring that anyone who wishes to protest peacefully is able to do so. Any information about the cull itself, including a start date and where it might take place, can only come from Defra or the companies licensed to carry out the cull.

"Over the past few days, a number of people have been exercising their right to peacefully protest. In response to this, we are deploying more officers to help reassure local communities, and to facilitate such protest. To this end we will work with any party, person or organisation".

ACC Richard Berry, Gloucestershire Constabulary

07/06/13 - Operation Themis Publication Strategy

Please click here to read the Operation Themis Publication Strategy

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