As I have predicted in recent weeks things are building, as this story demonstrates, to a crescendo around the badger question and the Police are already beginning to feel worn out

Police officers could become exhausted because they cannot book any more leave this year as a result of the imminent badger cull, it has been claimed.

Gloucestershire Police said it would not be authorising any further time off before January in anticipation of expected clashes between farmers, marksmen and animal rights activists.

But the Gloucestershire Police Federation said it was concerned officers could become tired, which could lead to mistakes and accidents.

Chairman Tracy De Young told the Gloucestershire Echo: “Officers are becoming increasingly fatigued due to the lack of rest.

“We are concerned that as fatigue takes hold, mistakes will be made and accidents will occur.

“Officers will continue to do their very best for the communities we serve, but I am afraid that this will lead to a reduced service, a dip in performance and could lead to increased levels of complaints.”

She added that officers had also been unable to book leave this summer due to London 2012 and there was already an increase in sickness.

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