40 officers attacked during Bristol 'Kill the Bill' riot, police reveal

24 March 2021, 20:58

Police officers and protesters in Bristol on Saturday evening
Police officers and protesters in Bristol on Saturday evening. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Police have revealed they are investigating attacks on 40 police officers in Sunday's Bristol riot, while two further people have been arrested.

The total number of arrests in connection with the disorder - which saw officers injured, police vehicles set on fire and a police station attacked - is now nine.

Two people, a 20-year-old man and a man currently refusing to provide details, were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and are in custody.

READ MORE: Starmer tells LBC violence at Bristol protest 'inexcusable' and 'completely unacceptable'

READ MORE: Police officer gives impassioned reaction to 'demoralising' violent Bristol protest

Police are also investigating an attack on a member of the media.

The riot followed a peaceful Kill the Bill protest against the Government's Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which will see the police handed new powers to tackle demonstrations.

A second protest against the Bill took place in the city on Tuesday, resulting in 14 arrests.

Chief Superintendent Carolyn Belafonte said the investigation into Sunday's riot could be one of the largest in the history of Avon and Somerset Police.

"The fact we're investigating 40 assaults on officers and a member of the media as the result of one incident shows the scale of wanton disorder which took place that night," she said.

"Through painstaking work to examine more than two terabytes worth of digital footage, we believe we're making clear progress to identify those responsible and anticipate further images will be released soon to the online gallery we've set up.

"One of the people we believe we've already identified is a suspect in the fire which destroyed a mobile community police station.

"We'd like to thank every member of the public who's got in touch to provide footage, information or to pass on their well-wishes and kind thoughts."

Around 3,000 people had attended a peaceful demonstration on College Green but events turned violent after about 500 people descended on Bridewell police station.

Police previously released images of people they want to identify following the disorder.

The force has received 210 submissions after appealing for members of the public to supply footage or information about those involved, as well as 68 calls to the control room.

Six men arrested on suspicion of violent disorder have been released under investigation, while a 28-year-old man appeared at Bristol Magistrates' Court charged with possessing an offensive weapon.