GLOUCSTERSHIRE Police has unveiled its tailor-made operation that it will use to handle incidents before, during and after the impending badger cull.
Operation Themis, named after the Greek god of divine law, will see police approach the badger cull in an unbiased way that will deal with both parties equally.
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Berry said: “Our approach will be independent and impartial and will be fair to people in each camp regardless of views.
“We’re looking to take a common sense approach towards the cull.” Although details of the cull are top secret, Gloucestershire Police will be keeping tabs of various sources of information.
“We will be monitoring social networks for information regarding the cull and our operation will be intelligence lead and based around the scale of the project,” said AAC Berry.
The planned badger cull in Gloucestershire is being used as a pilot scheme to determine whether culling can eradicate bovine tuberculosis in cattle.
The cull has caused massive controversy with thousands of people calling on the government to abolish it.
Richard Berry said: “There is potential that a lot of people will travel a long distance to protest and we are prepared for that.
“We’re planning for a range of unexpected scenarios. At the end of the day, we’re dealing with a new type of protest.
“Are we prepared for protests to be escalating at all levels? Yes, we are.”
Although the police said that people had every right to protest, they were keen to stress that any individuals who behaved unlawfully during the protests would face the necessary consequences.
Throughout the briefing police also made it clear that it was not their responsibility to act as security guards for either the protesters or the marksmen during the cull.
Gloucestershire Police was unable to comment on when or where the cull will take place.
More information on Operation Themis can be found by ringing 101 or visiting www.gloucestershire.police.uk.