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RSPCA guide for police officers

Direct number for Police

RSPCA's National Control Centre
0300 123 8008
8am-8pm (for emergency services only)


RSPCA officer job role

To alleviate the suffering of animals by investigating alleged reports of animal cruelty, and neglect, to educate and give advice to owners, to collect and rescue sick, injured and/or trapped animals.

If RSPCA inspectors have reason to believe that an offence has been committed, they prepare a case file containing evidence such as a contemporaneous Interview record, witness statements, photographs, and veterinary or other expert advice.

We have no special or statutory powers to gather evidence or gain lawful entry to any premises.

But we use the law and rely on you to use your Police Powers under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (AWA 2006) to ensure any evidence gathered can be used in court. Once the investigation is complete, the file is submitted to our prosecutions team, who consider whether the case ought to be prosecuted. 

The RSPCA inspectors are not appointed under this act and where the act refers to an Inspector this would be a Local Authority Inspector. (The act refers to an inspector or constable).

During an animal welfare investigation, if it is believed that an offence has possibly been committed, that an animal is at risk and the officer has been unable to resolve the concern by any other means, then RSPCA officers will call the police on 101 or via 101 web chat and request assistance from a police constable.