Heavy-handed police who shot dead an escaped cow have come under fire again after three officers, a patrol car and a riot van swooped on a quiet street – to arrest a SWAN.
The stray bird was spotted wandering along a road near student accommodation in Lincoln on Thursday afternoon.
Two PCSOs in a patrol car and an officer in a riot van were called to deal with the errant bird as it waddled around the student car park.
After 30 minutes trying to coax the swan out of the car park it was eventually captured when officers threw a SHEET over it and bundled it into the back of the van.
It has since been returned to a nearby river.
Yesterday local residents blasted Lincolnshire Police’s decision to spend resources – estimated to be around £600 – on snaring the bird – branding it a “huge over reaction.”
Matthew Knott, 18, a mechanical engineering student at Lincoln University, snapped the moment officers arrived in high visibility jackets to snare the bird.
He said: “I was looking out of my window at around 1pm and I saw something that looked like a bird.
“Then a police car pulled up and two female PCSOs got out and sort of stared at the swan, it reared its head up so I saw it was a swan.
“A little while later a police riot van turned up and a male officer got out and started trying to shoo the swan to the open back of the van, which was never going to work.
“Eventually after about half-an-hour they got a sheet thing from the back of the van and caught it in that.
“It seemed like a bit of an over reaction, I have no idea how the police ended up being involved.
“We do sometimes get swans on our site, they get picked up by drunk students, but it’s normally just one RSPCA guy who comes to deal with it but never three police officers.
“It was a huge over reaction, the swan wasn’t doing any harm, it seemed perfectly happy sitting there not going near anyone.”
James Phillips, 34, who lives nearby said he couldn’t believe his eyes as the police vehicles screeched past with their blue lights flashing.
He said: “I thought someone must have been attacked or something, when a marked car and van went into the accommodation.
“Then I saw they weren’t rushing out of the car so went to look what was going on and there they were, staring at this swan.
“They didn’t seem to know what to do with it really, they must have spent an hour hunting it down.
“In the end someone from the shop nearby came out with their coat to try and help catch the bird.
“It wasn’t doing anyone any harm and I wonder what crimes might have taken place while they were messing around with a swan.”
A spokesperson for Lincolnshire Police said: “Police were called at around 1pm on Thursday following reports of an injured swan obstructing traffic on Ruston Way, Lincoln. So action was required.
“Officers attended the scene and returned the swan safely to the Brayford Pool. The swan was only slightly injured and RSPCA assistance was not required.”
The swoop comes less than a month after the force used a police marksmen to shoot a COW that had escaped from a field near a school.